Canadian Junior Short Track Championships in Montreal

Two new Quebec skaters win gold in the 500m

Sherbrooker Kim Boutin and Sébastien Gagnon, of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, won the 500m event at the 2014 Canadian Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal.

Having placed second in the 1500m, Boutin switched spots with yesterday’s sprint winner Namasthée Harris-Gauthier atop the podium, finishing first in the 500m event with a time of 44.853 seconds. Harris-Gauthier’s time of 44.910 seconds was a mere 57-thousandths of a second behind that posted by Boutin. Both athletes lead the overall standings after 2 events with a total of 1,816 points.

The same scenario played out with the 3rd and 4th place skaters. B.C.’s Jamie MacDonald edged Quebec’s Audrey Phaneuf in the 500m. Both athletes are in a dead heat in third place overall with 1,209 points.

On the men’s side, Quebec’s Sébastien Gagnon (42.161 seconds) and Maxime Laoun (42.351 seconds) finished first and second respectively in the finals after leaders Alexander Sacha Fathoullin and Samuel Girard collided and fell to the ice together. Alberta’s Jordan Henkelman rounded out the podium finish with a time of 42.461. In the quarter final round, Fathoullin registered a time of 41.443 seconds, 2 hundredths of a second better than the current junior record, held by American JR Celski.

Given these developments in the men’s competition, the overall standings have become considerably tighter: 1. Maxime Laoun (Quebec) 1,482 points, 2. Samuel Girard (Qc) 1,443 pts, 3. Alexander Sacha Fathoullin (Alberta) 1,359 pts, 4. Sébastien Gagnon (Qc) 1,241 pts and 5. Gabriel Maillé (Qc) 905 pts.

The championship and the 2014 National Junior team selections will conclude Sunday with the final two events: the men’s and women’s 1000m and Super 1500m.