Almaty Day 2: Kim Boutin is definitely back ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


8 décembre 2018

Almaty Day 2: Kim Boutin is definitely back

With yesterday’s qualification portion of the competition not bringing too many surprises, we were expecting high octane races on Day 2 of World cup short track #3 in Almaty, Kazakhstan and the athletes surely delivered.

By Carl Savard
Photo by Danny Kim and Nathalie Lambert

Four medals out of six for Korea on 1500m
In the women’s 1500m final, the first of two this weekend, fans in the stands and those watching the competition online witnessed a ballet on ice with skaters offering many position changes in an action packed race. Russia’s Ekaterina Efremenkova had to battle six Asian adversaries and her strong performance got her on the podium winning a silver medal. The race was won by Korea’s Kim Geon Hee while China’s Li Jinyu won the bronze. Japan’s Yuki Kikuchi originally finished in the top three but was penalised.

On the men’s side, Russia’s Semen Elistratov took part in his first A final of the season after skipping the North American part of the World cup season. Just like Steven Dubois and Samuel Girard from Canada and Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor, Elistratov just couldn’t compete with the Korean wall erected at the front. Lim Hyo Jun finishes first followed by Kim Gun Woo and Hwang Dae Heon.

The Queen rules once again
Suzanne Schulting, the new queen of the 1000m distance, offered another flawless performance to grab her third gold medal this season in the nine laps race. Finishing in second place was Canada’s Kim Boutin who showed some signs of nervousness but not enough to prevent her from getting on the podium winning silver. Third place finisher was Korea’s Noh Ah Rum.

While we could clearly hear the Kazakh fans cheering for their favorite Abzal Azhgaliyev battling behind with Korea’s Lee June Seo and Belgium’s Stijn Desmet, the main battle upfront saw Hungary’s Liu Shaoang edge out the Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt for the gold on 1000m. Lee June Seo was able to beat Desmet at the line to get on the podium with Liu and Knegt.

The Boutin effect
In the team events we now know who will be part of the big finals tomorrow. In the mixed relay, the return of Kim Boutin definitely gave an edge to the Canadian team who dominated the competition in its semifinal race. They will be joined in the main final by Japan, Korea and China. Boutin also helped the Canadian team reach the final in the 3000m relay event. The Dutch, the Koreans and the Italian ladies will also be in the main final on 3000m. Italy can thank an amazing last presence in the race by Martina Valcepina to beat Russia to the final. As for the men’s 5000m relay, the A final will see Canada, the Netherlands, Korea and China battle for gold.

For our Day 1 recap click HERE

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