Torino Day 1: Maliszewska in control, several penalties on the men's side ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


9 février 2019

Torino Day 1: Maliszewska in control, several penalties on the men's side

The fifth and last leg of the World cup season started yesterday in Torino, Italy.

By Florence Gauthier
Photo: Schaats Foto's

The best skaters in the world were trying to qualify for the individual and team distances on Friday. This weekend, medals on two 500m finals, a 1000m and a 1500m will be awarded. In addition women's, men's and mixed relays will also be raced. The day was quieter for the women than for the men and the relays had their share of action.

Schulting out of the 1000m
The women managed to have a perfect day without any disqualification. With the victory already acquired on the World cup season ranking on 1000m, Suzanne Schulting (NED) does not participate in her strongest distance this weekend. It gave way to her compatriots Rianne de Vries and Tineke den Dulk, although only the first managed to qualify for the quarterfinals. Experienced skaters such as Choi Min Jeong (KOR) and Kim Boutin (CAN), as well as rookies like Alyson Charles (CAN) also advance to the quarterfinals. The first 500m saw the fastest skaters, Natalia Maliszewska (POL), Kim Boutin and Lara van Ruijven (NED) qualify for the preliminaries. Maame Biney (USA), the best junior skater on the distance, barely qualified and was selected based on her time finishing 3rd in her race, as did Canadian team veteran Kasandra Bradette. In the second 500m, Suzanne Schulting, Lara van Ruijven, Elise Christie (GBR), Natalia Maliszewska (POL), Martina Valcepina (ITA) and Ekaterina Efremenkova (RUS) all finished first in their heat, which propelled them into the next round. As for the 1500m, each race was tight, with only a few hundredths of a second separating the first positions. Women qualified for the semifinals include Anna Seidel (GER), Choi Min Jeong, Shim Suk Hee (KOR) and Courtney Lee Sarault (CAN).

One penalty after the other on the men's side of the board
The first day of the men's competition was very hectic. In the fourth heat of the qualifying stage of the first 500m, a penalty was awarded to Denis Kikisha (KAZ) and skaters Jasper Brunsmann (NED) and Yang Shuai (CHN) were advanced. Not surprisingly, Hwang Dae Heon (KOR), Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) and Samuel Girard (CAN) all qualified for the quarterfinals. The latter was also successful in qualifying for the second 500m of the weekend. His compatriots Pascal Dion and Charles Hamelin, as well as Keita Watanabe (JPN), Semen Elistratov (RUS) and Kim Gun Woo (KOR) among others will also fight it out on the second 500m event. Ivan Martinic of Croatia will join them thanks to an advancement following a penalty to Jasper Brunsmann. The quarterfinals in the 1500m also had their share of action. In the fifth heat, Pascal Dion got a yellow card and Cole Krueger (HUN) and Sebastien Lepape (Fr) were advanced. In other races, Daan Breeuwsma (NED) was penalized for pushing Farrell Treacy (GBR) with his arm and Kota Kikuchi (JPN) changed line from outside to inside causing contact with Charle Cournoyer (CAN). The Japanese was penalised and the Canadian was advanced by the officials. Also skating in the quarterfinals will be Park Ji Won (KOR) who is number one on the distance this season, Shaolin Sandor Liu and Vladislav Bykanov (ISR) among other.
An unfortunate injury
The women's relay races went smoothly, without penalty. The teams participating in the semifinals will be the Koreans, French, Dutch, Kazakhs, Canadians, Japanese, Italians and Russians. After several hours of competition, everybody was hoping that the men would be done with penalties. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Hungarians and Kazakhs were penalized. The Japanese, French, Russians, Americans, Italians, Chinese, Koreans and Dutch are the teams qualified for the next round. During the mixed relay qualification, the fourth wave was resumed. A Hungarian fell and took a Frenchman with him, cutting his knee with the blade of his skate. The Frenchman came out of the ice on a stretcher. Both team were able to qualify for the quarterfinals on the rerun of the race. In this round, the French, Hungarian, British, Russian, Canadian, Dutch, Polish and American teams all managed to reach the semifinals.
Watch the World Cup today here.

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