Steven Dubois chases Wu Dajing under the 40 seconds mark ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


3 novembre 2018

Steven Dubois chases Wu Dajing under the 40 seconds mark

Day one of a new season is always highly exciting and yesterday’s start of the 2018-2019 World cup season in Calgary featured some exciting highlights.

By Carl Savard
Photo by Danny Kim

It’s at the Olympic oval in Calgary that was launched the 2018-19 short track speed skating season yesterday. Preliminaries, Heats and some Quarterfinals races were skated to qualify athletes for the main event of the weekend.

Wu Dajing and Steven Dubois go under 40 seconds
If reigning overall world champion Charles Hamelin started his season on 500m with a penalty and Hungary’s Liu Shaoang will have to go through the rep-quarterfinals to earn his place in the big show on the distance that will be raced twice this weekend, the talk of the day on 500m was the performance of Canada’s newcomer Steven Dubois. After going through the Preliminary stage of the 500(1) finishing 2nd of his wave with a time of 41.405 seconds, the twenty-one-year-old from Lachenaie, Canada was able to keep with the pace of Chinese superstar Wu Dajing in the next round finishing second with a time of 39.845, a new Canadian record and one of the fastest time ever raced on the distance. Calgary will definitely keep its title of fastest ice on earth and the main event on 500m this weekend should bring some firework.

On the women’s side, Korea’s Shim Suk-hee won’t skate on the first 500m of the weekend following a fall alongside Lara van Ruijven in their first race of the season but both women were able to qualify for the 500m (2). China’s Fan Kexin raced the fastest 500m of the day on the women’s board with a time of 43.395 seconds.

Canada on 1500m
The host country came one skater short of qualifying all its skaters to the semi-finals on 1500m on Friday. Samuel Girard and Charle Cournoyer qualified for the main event while Pascal Dion was advanced following a penalty to Russia’s Dennis Ayrapetyan. On the women’s side Claudia Gagnon and Courtney Sarault both qualified while Camille De Serres-Rainville came up short. “I would have liked to feel better on the ice. I was nervous and I made some bad decisions. I wish I would have been more aware of what the others were doing but I’ll learn from it. For a first World cup race, it was ok.” De Serre-Rainville will skate this morning in the rep-quarterfinals. A second chance for her to join the rest of the Canadian skaters in the semis on the distance. No real surprise when it comes to the rest of the world on 1500m as all the bests were able to go through this stage.

A bumpy contest on 1000m
Penalties, no time, yellow card, big names out of the equation and new names on top. Such a portrait should make for an interesting competition on the distance Sunday. While Canada’s Sarault, Desmarais, De Serre-Rainville, Dubois are all in, veterans Hamelin and Cournoyer will have to face each other in heat number two of the rep-quarterfinals. For the Netherlands, Schulting, van Kerkhof and de Laat move on while Breeuwsma, Emons and Aardoom will have to battle again to earn their spots. France’s Véronique Pierron is through to the next round but her long time teammate Thibaut Fauconnet couldn’t qualify on Friday. Every Korean and Chinese skaters registered on 1000m today qualified for the main event.

Relay, relay and mixed relay!
On the men’s side, Hungary, Canada, China and Japan will face each others in one of the semifinals Saturday while Korea will battle it out with Italy, the Netherlands and the United States.

On the women’s side, Korea, Kazakhstan, Canada and China will try to qualify for the big final while the Netherlands, Russia, Japan and Italy will do the same in the second semifinal.

As for the mixed relay event, China, Russia, Korea and Hungary will be part of the first semi while the Netherlands, the United States, Canada and Kazakhstan will be part of the second one. Athletes will definitely need to make some adjustments in this new event. Team France was penalised in their quarterfinal after a good start but a mix-up in an exchange while Japan who qualified both its men’s and women’s team was not able to qualify its mixed team to the next round.

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