Canada's Cédrik Blais skates to short track silver in the Netherlands
Quebec native was coming off 3rd-place finish at World Cup event in Turin, Italy
Cédrik Blais of Châteauguay, Que., took another step on the speed skating podium Saturday, claiming a career-best silver medal in short track after Park In Wook of South Korea was penalized in the men's 1,000-metre A final in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Blais crossed the finish line in bronze position in a time of one minute 33.739 seconds but was upgraded when Park was penalized for a push from behind on eventual bronze medallist Itzhak de Laat of the Netherlands.
Blais, who specializes in the 500, won two bronze in the shorter distance last season. Before Saturday, the 23-year-old's best finish in the 1,000 was eighth last season in Turin, Italy.
WATCH | Cédrik Blais captures silver medal in 1,000 metres:
A week ago, Blais was fourth in the 500 A final in one minute 7.939 seconds at a World Cup event in Dresden, Germany.
"I'm obviously very happy," Blais told Speed Skating Canada on Saturday. "My season didn't start the way I had hoped. I hadn't qualified for any A finals, but this is my second one since last weekend."
Dagyeom Kim of South Korea took Saturday's competition in 1:33.056, ahead of Blais and de Laat (1:54.183).
Blais' teammate, Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Sherbrooke, Que., lost his balance in the fifth lap of his A final debut and placed fourth in 2:07.998.
"I'm very happy with today's result," said the 21-year-old Pierre-Gilles, who has four top-10 finishes in his first four World Cups. "At the start of the day I didn't have the best feeling, but I stayed calm and made good decisions to make it all the way to the A final.
"Unfortunately, once I got there, I didn't feel right on my blades, so I'm a little disappointed with that. But I appreciated the moment [of my first A final] and can't wait to get there again."
Other Canadian results:
- Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.) — 7th in women's 1,500-metre A final after being penalized
- Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) — 1st in 1,500 B final, 8th overall (2:27.394)
- Claudia Gagnon (La Baie, Que.) — 5th in 1,500 B final, 12th overall (2:28.195)
- Rikki Doak (Fredericton) — 4th in women's 1,000 B final, 9th overall (2:02.530)
- Alyson Charles (Montreal) — 19th overall in women's 1,000
- Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) — 5th in men's 1,500 A final (2:20.972)
- Charles Hamelin (Saint-Julie, Que.) — 27th in men's 1,500
- William Dandjinou (Verdun, Que.) — 51st in men's 1,500
- Pascal Dion (Montreal) — 23rd in men's 1,000