The regular season is over, the season of dreams begins ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


19 novembre 2017

The regular season is over, the season of dreams begins

From Budapest, to Dordrecht, to Shanghai and finally Seoul, the four events short track speed skating World cup season is now over. The last stretch of preparation for the Olympic games starts now. The next time these athletes will battle against each others, it will be for olympic glory.

By Carl Savard

Choi wins the battle, Boutin wins the war

In the last individual final of the season, Choi Min Jeong, Shim Suk Hee, Kim Boutin, Elise Christie and Yara van Kerkhof were battling it out. Trying to fight her way to the top of the pack, Christie looked like she was battling against the other ladies, the ice and herself. She crossed the line in third place but was penalised. Christie was slowed down by an injury this fall, the upcoming weeks will be useful to recover before Pyeongchang.  Choi Min Jeong won her second 1000m of the season, finishing ahead of Kim Boutin and Yara van Kerkhof. In the overall ranking of this World Cup season, Canada’s Kim Boutin finishes in first position. She is followed by Korea’s Choi Min Jeong and Shim Suk Hee. Netherlands’ Suzanne Schulting and Yara van Kerkhof finish in fourth and fifth place in the ranking. While Schulting’s season was a bumpy road, Yara van Kerkhof gets my vote as the revelation of the circuit this season.

Liu Shaolin Sandor at the top

On the men’s side, Liu Shaolin Sandor, Hwang Dae Heon, Samuel Girard and Wu Dajing all qualified for the big final and with those four on this distance, we knew there would be sparks. There was a lot of movements in the positions and all four skaters leaded the race at one time during the nine laps but Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor came out on top, crossing the line ahead of Hwang Dae Heon and Samuel Girard. In the final ranking, Liu Shaolin finishes in first place, Hwang in second and Wu in third. Following them in fourth and fifth are Sjinkie Knegt and Samuel Girard.

Netherlands' patience pays off

Like it is often the case in the relay, tension builds up as the number of laps left to the race goes down and the main event on the women’s side was a good example of that. Relays became somewhat sketchy for Korea, the pace seemed way too fast for Russia, China skated ahead for a good portion of the race while the Netherlands team was pretty solid, keeping their pace and even switching their relay timing with six laps to go. With less than five laps to the race, Korea attacked China by the outside and a small collision happened while the Korean skater was already ahead. Team Netherlands jumped on the opportunity to take the lead and the win. Russia finished in second place while Korea gets the bronze. China was penalised on the collision with Korea. On the season ranking, Korea finishes first, on top of China and Canada. Russia finishes in fourth place and the Netherlands in fifth.

Korea pleases the crowd

Five countries were looking for gold on the men’s portion of the relay competition. Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Korea, the U.S.A. and Russia were ready for a hard fought grand finale on a pretty even field considering Canada and China, the top two countries so far this season, did not qualified for this last relay final. Up until fourteen laps to go, it was a pretty uneventful final wit Korea leading the pack followed by the U.S.A. and the Netherlands. When the Netherlands passed the U.S.A. it seemed pretty clear that the Americans were starting to fade.  A few laps later, Korea heavily stepped on the gas and moved ahead finishing first in front of their home crowd. The Netherlands won silver while the U.S.A. won the bronze. On the overall ranking, Canada finishes first, followed by Korea and the U.S.A.

Even though the world’s top skaters will only face each others again at the Olympics in February, Passion/Speed/Skating will have plenty of short track news and stories to share with you until then.

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