SOFIA, Bulgaria — Canada's Kim Boutin and Samuel Girard both skated to silver medals in the 1,500 metres on Saturday at the world short-track speedskating championships.
Both sit third in the overall world championships classification after two distances.
Boutin, from Sherbrooke, Que., earned her third medal in the 1,500 metres this season and bested her result in the same distance at last year's world championships by one position. She led the pack several times in the final race but was overtaken by gold medallist Min Jeong Choi of South Korea in the last laps. Boutin's time of two minutes 29.803 seconds placed her ahead of Russia's Sofia Prosvirnova on the podium.
"I am vice champion of the world in the 1500 metres, so that is definitely satisfying for me," said Boutin. "It's the best world championships result of my career, so I am very happy with how it went. I made good choices during the race and worked hard right to the end to win the medal."
In the men's 1,500 metres, the final was recalled mid-way through the first race after Girard was taken out by a Japanese competitor. In the second start, the native of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., led the field with four laps to go but was ultimately passed by two South Koreans to finish with a time of 2:31.685.
A penalty to the skater who crossed the line first vaulted Girard into silver medal position, behind Hyo Jun Lim and ahead of June Seo Lee, both of South Korea.
It is the second time Girard has captured a silver medal in the 1,500 metres at the world championships, his first coming in the 2016-2017 season.
"Being able to perform at the world championships and finish the year strong was really my objective," said Girard. "This medal proves that my mission was accomplished."
Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., skated in the 1,500-metre final with Girard and finished fourth. In the B finals of the same distance, Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., and defending world champion Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., raced to 11th and 14th place respectively in the distance rankings.
Participating in the B final of the 500 metres, Girard finished second to earn a sixth overall placement in that distance. His was the best Canadian result in the 500.
The women's relay team qualified for Sunday's final, finishing second in their semifinal despite an untimely fall in the last laps. They will race for the podium against the Netherlands, Russia and Korea. The Canadian men finished fourth in their relay semifinal and will have to settle for a place in the B final.
The Canadian Press