Steven Dubois wins bronze in 500m at World Junior Short Track Championships
Speed Skating Canada – Sofia, Bulgaria, January 30, 2016 – Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, QC, finished ahead of his teammate Maxime Laoun of Montreal (Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie borough) in the men’s 500m final to earn a bronze medal, Saturday, at the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Steven Dubois skated to a time of 41.204 seconds to finish third, ahead of Maxime Laoun (41.770). China’s Hongzhi Xu (41.558) won gold while Hungary’s Shaoang Liu (41.594) came up with silver.
Dubois therefore ended up on the podium like Canadian skater Audrey Phaneuf did at last year’s Canadian Junior Championships, held in Osaka, Japan. Phaneuf also stepped on the podium in the 500m event, coming up with a silver medal in the 2015 edition of the competition.
“This is incredible, I couldn’t be happier,” said Steven Dubois, who is taking part in his first-ever World Junior Championships.
“In the final, I wanted to protect my third position. I wanted to try overtaking the Chinese skater but with one lap and a half to go, the race slowed down. I also saw Maxime (Laoun) behind me and that’s when I decided to stay in third place.”
As for Maxime Laoun, who started the race from the fourth spot, there was nothing he could do to move up in the pack.
“I went as fast as I could at the start from my fourth position on the starting line, but the race was perfect. There were no contacts and there wasn’t much space to do anything,” explained Maxime Laoun, who is skating at the World Junior Championships for the third time. “And with Steven in front of me, I didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances that would lead to Canada losing a medal, or to me being disqualified and losing points. Steven protected his spot well. If it had been another skater, I may have tried to jump ahead, but it would have been risky.”
Alyson Charles of Montreal (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough) was Saturday’s top Canadian on the women’s side, with a first-place finish in the women’s 500m B final.
“This is a much better result than I expected,” said Alyson Charles, who is taking part in the World Junior Championships for the second time. “I was a bit nervous after Friday’s race. But today, my coaches helped me a lot, with my skates among other things. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.”
In the men’s 500m B final, Canadian junior champion title holder Marc-Olivier Lemay of Montreal (Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles borough) was third.
Dubois and Laoun were also Canada’s top skaters in the other event sheduled on Saturday, the 1500m, as they were the only two Canadian skaters still in the running in the final rounds.
In the B final, however, Maxime Laoun was penalized and he finished in third and last position after overtaking Belgium’s Jens Almey in a way that was judged to be illegal. Laoun had been advanced to the B final after a semifinal heat where three skaters were penalized, including his teammate Steven Dubois.
Sunday, on the last day of competition, the final rounds in the 1000m event as well as the 1500m Super Final, which will involve the six top skaters in overall standings following the first three individual events, will take place. After two events, Steven Dubois is seventh overall, while Maxime Laoun is eighth on the men’s side. Alyson Charles is eighth overall in women’s standings.
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS:
–Steven Dubois: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
–Maxime Laoun: 4th in the A Final (final ranking: 4)
–Marc-Olivier Lemay: 3rd in the B Final (final ranking: 7)
–Alyson Charles: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 5)
–Genève Bélanger: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)
–Danaé Blais: 3rd in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 19)
–Maxime Laoun: penalty in the B Final and eliminated (final ranking: 9)
–Steven Dubois: penalty in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)
–Marc-Olivier Lemay: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 31)
–Alyson Charles: 5th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 18)
–Danaé Blais: 6th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 23)
–Genève Bélanger: 4th in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 60)
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Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.
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Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897