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Canada wins two golds at short-track speedskating World Cup

Steven Dubois Steven Dubois - The Canadian Press

GDANSK, Poland — Steven Dubois earned gold in the men's 500 metres and Canada won the 5,000-metre relay on Sunday in the final event of the ISU World Cup short-track speedskating season.

Dubois, from Terrebonne, Que., picked up his second individual medal of the competition with a decisive victory in the 500 metres.

He finished in 40.303 seconds for his first 500-metre World Cup gold medal of the season, finishing ahead of Denis Nikisha of Kazakhstan (41.051) and Michal Niewinski of Poland (41.158) in third.

Félix Roussel of Sherbrooke, Que., finished fifth in the 500 metres, while Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., was the top Canadian in the women’s 500 metres, finishing fifth.

Montreal's Maxime Laoun, a last-minute injury replacement, added a fifth-place result in the men’s 1,000 metres.

The Canadian men’s relay team of Dubois, Roussel, Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Sherbrooke and Montreal's Pascal Dion won the second gold medal of the day in the 5,000-metre relay.

“We knew we had to win the final, so I was very aggressive throughout the race to set the pace and show that we were the strongest," said Roussel. "Winning gold and the overall ranking just before the Worlds shows that we have what it takes to be crowned World Champions in a month's time, and that's our goal."

An exciting race in the final, Canada finished with a time of 6:55.577 and was joined on the podium by Korea (6:55.915) and Japan (6:56.000). It marked the team's third gold medal of the season, propelling them to the top of the World Cup rankings.

The final World Cup of the season in Gdansk also helped determine the final rankings in the race for the Crystal Globe, which recognizes the best overall male and female skaters of the 2023-24 season. Canada earned three top-five finishes on the men’s side, with Dubois finishing second with 1052 points, behind Ji Won Park of Korea (1071). Dandjinou earned a third-place results 784 points, while Roussel was 576 points.

With a successful World Cup season behind them, the Canadian team will be heading to the ISU World Short Track speedskating Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from March 15-17.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2024.