Dubois and Sarault both win 1000m bronze; women’s 3000m relay also finishes third

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – The Canadian short track team won three bronze medals on the final day of ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships action in Seoul, as Steven Dubois, Courtney Sarault and the women’s 3000m relay team all reached the podium.

For the second time in as many days, Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) stood on the World Championship podium, adding 1000m bronze to the 500m silver he won yesterday.

Dubois, who was advanced into the A Final after getting bumped off track in his semi-final, was stuck in fifth position until the second last lap of the race. A fall from Italy’s Pietro Sighel opened the door for the Canadian, who picked up speed and exited the final corner wide in an attempt to steal the bronze medal from unsuspecting Korean skater Kyung Hwan Hong. Dubois successfully outstretched his competitor by the slimmest of margins at the finish line – 0.002 seconds according to the photo-finish – to earn the final spot on the podium.

Korea’s Ji Won Park was victorious, finishing ahead of Stijn Desmet of Belgium (1:27.974) and Dubois (1:28.069). It was Dubois second career World Championship medal in an individual distance.

Sarault was also an individual medalist on Sunday, winning bronze in the women’s 1000m. It marked the Moncton native’s fourth career medal on the World Championship stage, having captured three in 2021 en route to being crowned vice World Champion.

Sarault held the lead in the A Final until the sixth lap of the race, at which point she was passed by speedster Xandra Velzeboer of the Netherlands. The Canadian skated defensively from that point forward but was overtaken again, this time by Korea’s Minjeong Choi, which relegated her to a third-place finish.

Velzeboer (1:29.361) earned her second World Championship title of the weekend with the win, having also won the 500m on Saturday. Choi (1:29.679) finished in silver medal position, ahead of Sarault (1:29.794) and fellow Canadian Claudia Gagnon (1:34.101), who was fourth.

Sarault, Gagnon and teammates Kim Boutin and Renee Steenge would later help bring home Canada’s lone relay medal of the competition, bronze in the women’s 3000m event.

After being stuck at the back of the pack for much of the race, the Canadians passed Italy with 10 laps remaining to move into medal position, which they would hold onto until the end. The Netherlands was crowned World Champions after besting their opponents in a time of 4:09.056. They were joined on the podium by Korea (4:09.151) and Canada (4:09.372).

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing result for the men’s relay team, who fell just short of the podium in Sunday’s final event, settling for a fourth-place finish behind China, Italy and Korea. With three laps remaining, a late relay push from Maxime Laoun put teammate Jordan Pierre-Gilles off balance and caused him to make contact with the blades of a Korean skater in front of him, resulting in a fall.

Canada concludes the 2023 ISU World Short Track Championships with six medals, bringing home silver in the men’s 500m (Dubois), and bronze in the women’s 1000m (Sarault), women’s 1500m (Boutin), men’s 1000m (Dubois), men’s 1500m (Dion) and women’s 3000m relay.

They conclude the 2022-23 international season, one of their most successful of the past decade, with an impressive 37 medals across six World Cup competitions, including 15 gold, 15 silver and 7 bronze.

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