With a crash taking out three of five skaters as the pack entered the final lap, Girard held off John-Henry Krueger (USA), who took the silver meal, while Republic of Korea’s Seo Yira was quickest to get to his feet to secure a bronze.
Reigning world champion Yira was joined by compatriot Lim Hyojun among the skaters who slid out of the race on the last lap after Shaolin Sandor Liu attempted to burst through on the inside. Liu was penalised.
Girard, who finished outside the medal positions in fourth place in the men's 1,500m, was a silver medallist in the 1,000m at the 2016 world championships in Seoul.
Looking to the future
The 21-year-old Girard joined compatriots Charles Hamelin and Marc Gagnon as the only Canadian men to win an individual gold medal in short track at the Winter Games. Girard's gold was also Canada's ninth in short track history, equalling their event totals, for freestyle skiing and speed skating. They have won more only in ice hockey (13).
Girard admitted that he wanted to build on his victory and add to his medal collection in the future. "I really want to lead Canada to medal in World Cup and world championships and the next Winter Games for the next few years," he said.