Canada's Kim Boutin wins gold on 500m - Shanghai Day 3 ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


11 novembre 2017

Canada's Kim Boutin wins gold on 500m - Shanghai Day 3

Text: Carl Savard
Photos: Schaats Foto's and Martin Holtom

Korea on top on 1500m

It is with the semis on 1500m that the competition started today and it came as no surprise that Korea’s Choi Min Jeong and Canada’s Marianne St-Gelais got their tickets for the big final in the first heat of the day. Choi and St-Gelais would battle the other korean superstar Shim Suk Hee, China’s Han Yutong, Italy’s Arianna Fontana and Canada’s Valérie Maltais for the gold.
The korean duo of Shim and Choi finished on top while St-Gelais grabbed the bronze medal. Definitely a podium to which short track speed skating fans are accustomed. Finishing in fourth place, the performance of Valérie Maltais deserves to be mentioned. The Canadian skater from La Baie seems at peace and in premium shape. She has been skating smoothly since the beginning of the season. An attitude that could bring magic moments to an olympic season.

On the men’s side, Korea’s Hwang Dae Heon and Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt had to battle against two other korean skaters, Seo Yi Ra and Kim Do Kyoum, young hungarian star Liu Shaoang and Israel’s Vladislav Bykanov in the main event. Even though the competition was strong, Hwang and Knegt finished one and two on the distance with Kim joining them on the podium. The legendary Viktor Anh, eight times world champion, has been pretty much out of the radar since the beginning of the season. He was not able to qualify for the B final on 1500m but with the upcoming Olympic games being held in his native country of Korea, he may still woo us with amazing performances this winter.

Canada's Kim Boutin navigates wisely through a minefield

Even though the distance his known to bring more penalties due to the non stop high speed and the necessity to take quick decisions based on guts more than brain, today’s 500m was one of the bumpiest of the last few seasons. With only one athlete qualifying for it, the B final was just scratched. In the quarter finals, Canada’s Kasandra Bradette, Russia’s Tatiana Borodulina and Netherlands’ Lara van Ruijven were all penalised while China’s Zang Yize and Korea’s Kim A LAng and Choi Min Jeong could not move forward due to race events. The hecatomb continued in the semis with Suzanne Schulting from Netherlands, Fan Kexin from China and reigning world champion Elise Christie all being penalised. The A final still was a strong one with canadian great Kim Boutin winning gold finishing ahead of Arianna Fontana and Russia’s Sofia Prosvirnova.

A smoother competition on 500m for the men with only one penalty to Liu Shaoang in the quarterfinals. In the same round, Russia’s Semen Elistratov and world record older J.R. Celski from the USA were not able to qualify for the semis. Asian skaters took control of the event with China’s Wu Dajing winning gold, Seo Yi Ra silver and Kim Do Kyoum the bronze. Canadian veteran Charles Hamelin finished in fourth. Samuel Girard, World cup leader on the distance after Budapest and Dordrecht, finished in third place in the B final behind Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor and Netherlands’ Dylan Hoogerwerf.

No surprises on the relay events.
While Korea, China, Italy and Canada will battle it out tomorrow in the main final of the ladies 3000m relay, Korea, China and the USA will try to beat Canada in the men’s 5000m relay event. Canada is presently in the lead this season with gold medals in Budapest and Dordrecht.

This third leg of the World cup season in short track comes to an end tomorrow with the 1000m and relay events finals.

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