Steven Dubois won possibly the most spectacular silver medal of his career on Saturday at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup at Maurice-Richard Arena.
Pushed back to last place after a collision with the Belgian Stijn Desmet, Dubois opened the turbo to get back in the fight for the podium. After returning to third place, the three-time Beijing Olympics medalist surprised Korean Hong Kyung Hwan by snatching the silver medal at the finish line. The photo-finish was necessary to decide between the two skaters.
Dubois finally beat his opponent by 0 s 001 to climb on the second step of the 1500 m podium and deprive the Koreans with a double.
The Quebecer wears his silver medal around his neck.
“I told Jordan [Pierre-Gilles] that I thought I had the money, but I had a little hesitation, he said. I arrived so quickly that I surprised a lot of people. The Korean didn't see me coming otherwise I wouldn't have been able to move up to second place. »
After the clash with the Belgian, who was ultimately disqualified for having attempted an overtaking deemed illegal against Pascal Dion and which ruined the race of the vice-world champion, did Dubois believe in his chances of returning to the fight?< /p>
“When I got to the back row, I picked up my bellows and did a reset,” he explained. It's a spectacular race, but nothing is going to beat my win in Dresden when I came from fourth to first to win gold. »
Dubois was overjoyed.
“I had a very good day with two medals and we were dominant to qualify for the final in the 5000m relay, indicated the one who received a bronze medal in the 2000m relay (mixed) for skating the round quarter-final. In the 5000m, I had nothing to do at the end as the guys opened the machine with a few laps to go. »
With a big acceleration, Maxime Laoun has indeed widened a significant gap with Kazakhstan and Canada has never been worried again. The Chinese crashed after having held the lead for much of the race. “Our plan was to be calm and opportunistic,” said Laoun, who reached the B final in the 1,000m. I took advantage of a good push from Pascal to take the lead.
Not a surprise
For his part, Dion was not surprised by Desmet's gesture. The vice-world champion was second at the time of the incident, with four laps to go.
“He always tries to overtake quickly by being super aggressive,” he explained. He tackled me like a hockey player. Since I'm not fat and he's a big guy, it was a big tackle. I had a good race and bet on a good strategy, but there is nothing to do in the Final with a maneuver like that. If we had been in the semi-finals, I would have been advanced, but that does not forgive in the final. »
At the foot of the podium
Jordan Pierre-Gilles almost pulled off the same feat as Dubois, but he just came up short. The skater from Sherbrooke was very happy with his fourth place in the 1000m.
“Before the relay, the guys knew that I was angry to have come so close to the podium, but this fourth place inspired me to push even more and served as motivation. Our performance in the relay was a balm to the heart. »
“With the experience that comes in and improvements on the physical and strategic levels, everything is possible for me in the 1000m, continued Pierre-Gilles. I'm labeled as a 500m skater, but I can do well in the 1000m as well. »
Claudia Gagnon does not let herself be intimidated
Claudia Gagnon played in the big leagues brilliantly in 1500m final.
With four laps to go and finding herself in second place just ahead of multiple Dutch Olympic medalist Suzanne Schulting, Gagnon passed Korean world champion Kim Geon Hee to take the lead.
“It was an exciting overtake and I really couldn't believe it as I took the lead with a few laps to go. Before the start of the final, I was a little impressed by my opponents, but I didn't want to be disturbed during the race. Rikki [Doak] and I always think of our opponents as pawns rather than names so we don't get intimidated. »
Gagnon's presence in the front row was short-lived. Schulting immediately replied with a big outside overtake to get ahead of the two leaders and race to victory.
As for the skater from La Baie, the last laps were more difficult and she completed the event in seventh place.
“I'm happy with my race and my result,” she said. I wanted to go for it and be aggressive and that's what I did. I was bold without fear of failure. The last year of training as well as my work this summer gave me greater confidence. I'm not afraid to dare. This is what I remember the most about my race. »
3000m relay in final
Not without difficulty, Canada obtained its ticket for the final of the 3000m relay even if it crossed the line in third place in a heat won by the Americans. Poland fell after a good start.
Due to a contact with Gagnon in the middle of the 18-lap event, Korea was then disqualified from the competition.
“We would have liked to finish first or second to qualify , pointed out Gagnon, but the Korean ran into me. We tried things like an outside overtake, which is rather rare in the relay, but we can run better in the final. »
Kim Boutin withdrew from the B final of the 1000m in order to preserve her strength for the relay. The Canadian quartet was completed by Danaé Blais and Renee Steenge.
Canada will meet the Americans, the Dutch and the Italians on Sunday afternoon in the final.
A first World Cup medal at 16
Short track skater Mathieu Pelletier wins bronze in the mixed relay
On his Cup debut of the world at only 16 years old, Mathieu Pelletier was quick to shine by winning his first medal.
In a mixed relay where Canada had decided to bet on youth, with the exception of Courtney Sarault, Pelletier, Félix Roussel and Rikki Doak won the bronze medal.
Mathieu Pelletier in action during the final of the 2000 m mixed relay, Saturday, at the Maurice-Richard arena.
After a fall from the Dutch, Canada found itself in second place and Pelletier took the last stint. The second-youngest Canadian skater in history to line up at the World Cup was beaten at the finish line by Belgium, who took the silver. Korea won gold in front of many fans.
“I felt chills when I took the last stint in second place, but I managed to stay focused,” said the skater from Laval. I knew the Belgian was going to try to overtake from the outside. I had a loss of balance [he crossed the wire on the buttocks], but I managed to keep the medal. »
At 21, Roussel was also experiencing his World Cup baptism.
“It’s fun that me and Mathieu lived these moments together, expressed the skater from Sherbrooke. We were both nervous before the final. The veterans gave us confidence and showed us the way. “
“It’s really different a World Cup, to add Pelletier. With the students in the stands screaming on the first day, it was really special. »
In the 2000m relay, the youngsters were able to count on Sarault.
“Courtney was really solid and she put us in our place,” said Roussel. When she pushed me and said “Go get it”, it calmed me down.
New Brunswick Connection
If the two rookies enjoyed this time together, the same goes for Sarault and Rikki Doak. The two skaters from New Brunswick have been training together for ages.
“It's amazing to win this medal with Rikki,” said the Moncton skater. We have been skating together for a long time and we trust each other so much.
“I'm proud of the boys' performance,” continued Sarault. I like to get involved in the relays and that's why I shouted words of encouragement to Félix during an exchange. It gives more motivation and confidence. »
The semi-final was not easy for the Canadian relay which took advantage of a stroke of luck to get their ticket to the final.
In fourth place, Canada took advantage of a clash between the Chinese and Japanese skaters to slip into second place and thus get their ticket to the final.< /p>
In the end, China, which was ranked second at the time of the incident, was disqualified and Japan took third place. The Netherlands finished in first place.
Canada bet on the same four skaters in the semi-finals and the final.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128