Canada's Boutin, Laoun capture World Cup short track gold in Salt Lake City

Canada's Boutin, Laoun capture World Cup short track gold in Salt Lake City

Canada's Kim Boutin and Maxime Laoun captured gold on the opening day of the short track World Cup stop in Salt Lake City, with both speed skaters winning their respective 500-metre races on Saturday.

Laoun posted a time of 40.946 seconds to claim the first individual distance World Cup medal of his career, nearly topping his personal best.

The 26-year-old from Montreal persevered to win the exciting men's final. South Korea's Lee June-Seo led early before a wobble on the second lap, allowing Laoun to pass. Kazakhstan's Abzal Azhgaliyev moved into the lead on the straight of the final lap, but the Kazakh skater took a wide turn and Laoun regained his spot ahead of the pack.

Azhgaliyev finished with silver (41.054), while Lee took bronze (41.350).

WATCH | Laoun tops 500m podium:

Boutin won her first individual World Cup medal of the season with a victory in the women's 500m final, crossing the line in 43.095. The four-time Olympic medallist from Sherbrooke, Que., raced out to an early lead and held off Poland's Natalia Maliszewska (43.145) and hometown favourite Kristen Santos-Griswold (43.170).

Fellow Canadian Rikki Doak also competed in the final, but an unfortunate slip with two laps remaining left her with a fifth-place finish.

Boutin won the women's national title at the Canadian Short Track Championships last month in Quebec City.

WATCH | Boutin wins gold:

In the women's 1,500m final, Canada's Courtney Sarault finished fifth for her best result of the season. The Moncton, N.B., native momentarily moved into second place after making an outside pass midway through the race, but a collision with Belgium's Hanne Desmet caused her to lose momentum and fall out of podium position.

Danae Blais finished sixth behind Sarault. The Châteauguay, Que., native earned her spot in the main bracket after working her way through the morning repêchage.

The World Cup event in Salt Lake City wraps up on Sunday. Watch live coverage on CBCSports.caCBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android starting at 4 p.m. ET.

The next World Cup short track speed skating stops are in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-18).