Canada’s Steven Dubois takes bronze for second Olympic short-track medal

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Canadian short-track speedskater Steven Dubois is back on the Beijing Olympic podium for a second time after winning a bronze medal in the men’s 500 metres on Sunday.

The 24-year-old native of Terrebonne, Que., also won silver in the 1,500 metres after missing out on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics when he was named an alternate.

“Honestly, I think it was relief,” Dubois told CBC when asked about the 500 bronze. “I trained the whole year and before that too just for the 500. This is my specialty. I was super happy. It was disbelief for the 15 and now it’s relief for the 5 because I knew I was strong in the 500 and I showed what I can do.”

Canada now has 14 medals in Beijing — one gold, four silver and nine bronze.

Hungary’s Liu Shaoang won gold in the 500 metres while Russian Konstantin Ivliev grabbed silver.

Dubois passed Kazakhstan’s Abzal Azhgaliyev for third on the second turn and held on the rest of the way.

“I knew I had to make a pass at the beginning of the race because it was going to go fast,” Dubois said. “I knew I had one of the best starts in the world, that’s for sure. I was waiting for a chance to make a pass in the first lap and I got my chance.”

The judges awarded Dubois a spot in the final when Hwang Daeheon took him out in the last turn of the semifinal when the Canadian was in second place — normally the cut-off for reaching the final.

Dubois will have a shot at a third medal on Wednesday in the 5,000-metre men’s relay.

“I have the silver and the bronze and of course we are going for the gold,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Canadian women’s short-track team fell just short of the podium, finishing fourth in the 3,000-metre relay on Sunday.

Kim Boutin, Courtney Sarault, Florence Brunelle and Alyson Charles lost their grip on a medal in the final couple of laps of the four-team final.

The Netherlands won gold, South Korea was second and China was third.

“We had to give everything on the ice and that’s what we did. I think we know that,” Boutin, fighting back tears, told CBC.

Canada was third late in the race, but Sarault, running the anchor leg, could not beat out her foes.

It marked Canada’s seventh fourth-place finish at the Games.

It also was Canada’s second fourth-place finish in a row in the 3,000-metre women’s relay at the Olympics. Canada had been on the podium in the event at every Olympics before 2018 since the sport made its debut in 1992.

The result denied Boutin a fifth career Olympic medal.

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