Calgary day 2: new faces at the top ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


4 novembre 2018

Calgary day 2: new faces at the top

The first medals of the season on the World cup circuit in short track were given yesterday and some new faces headlined the show.

By Carl Savard
Photo by Danny Kim and Maria Dalton

When the cat is away
In the absence of China’s Fan Kexin in the A final of the first of two 500m finals of the weekend, Poland’s Natalia Maliszewska grabbed the gold medal thanks to an amazing start. Olympic silver medalist on the distance Yara van Kerkhof started the new season adding another silver medal to her collection yesterday. “I was in the Heat Box before the race thinking ‘How cool would it be the win a medal now’ and I did it. It’s nice to be on the podium especially after winning silver at the Olympics and now winning again. It shows that it wasn’t just luck.” The bronze medal was won by Canada’s Alyson Charles. A first medal for her on the circuit. “It feels amazing. Before the race I felt a good mix of stress and excitement. It’s a little bit surreal.”

If China’s top female sprinter wasn’t in the A final, on the men’s side Chinese superstar Wu Dajing was there and it’s with no surprise that he won the gold. Joining him on the podium were Hungary’s Liu Shaoang and Korea’s Kim Gun Woo.

The birth of a rivalry?
The women’s 1500m final may have been the theater of the first chapter of a new rivalry. Olympic champion Suzanne Schulting goes home with the gold, but the referees needed the help of the photo finish to confirm her win over Canada’s newcomer Courtney Sarault. Sarault was proud of her performance. “After my first 1500 today, all the nervousness was out. I went into the A final knowing I had worked hard to get there and deserved my spot there and I was just gonna go for it and it got me a silver medal.” Russia’s Ekaterina Efremenkova won the bronze.

On the men’s side, if the final race itself wasn’t an exciting one, a lot of things surrounding it made it interesting. Some viewers may have been baffled by what they saw at the start so let me explain how it went. Japan’s Kazuki Yoshinaga, Israel’s Vladislav Bykanov, Canada’s Pascal Dion, France’s Thibaut Fauconnet and Korea’s Lim Hyo Jun, Hwang Dae Heon and Lee June Seo had a meeting in the main final to battle for the podium. As the skaters were ready for the start, Hwang Dae Heon who was alone on the second line made a false start. A situation that seemed awkward at first considering he was starting on that second line. The rule states that at skater guilty of the second false start is penalised and ejected from the ice. On the restart, starting referee recalled the race once again for a false start and announced that Lim Hyo June was guilty this time and was asked to leave the ice. We felt like there was some kind of misunderstanding on the ice and it’s at the third start that we understood why. Without hesitation, Hwang Dae Heon once again commited a false start and was asked to also leave the ice. Hwang false start was deliberate. Why? Hwang injured himself in the semifinal and his plan was probably to commit two false starts so he wouldn’t have to skate the final but still get the points awarded to the 7th position. He was ready to do a second false start on the first restart but the referee saw Lim moving. Hwang Dae Heon exited the ice holding his back. Probably to let us know what had happened and definitely sad for his teammate who was ejected before him. With Lim and Hwang out of the race, Kazuki Yoshinaga won the gold finishing ahead of Lee June Seo and Vladislav Bykanov who respectively won silver and bronze.

In the relay events, the women’s big finale will see the Netherlands, Russia, Korea and Canada fight it out on 3000m. Canada’s Claudia Gagnon was really excited about that upcoming opportunity to participate in her first A final event in her first World cup competition. “I’m super happy. It’s just crazy.” On the men’s 5000m, five countries will fight for the three spots on the podium. The Olympic champion Hungarian team will have to face Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and Korea to get at the top of the podium. In the mix relay, the Netherlands, the United States, China and Korea will take part in the first big final of this new event.

You can read our day 1 recap HERE

Don't forget to follow our Facebook page, our Instagram account and our Twitter account for daily news and results about speed skating.

0 commentaires:

Publier un commentaire