World Championships day 2: Congestion at the top - Van Ruijven makes history ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


9 mars 2019

World Championships day 2: Congestion at the top - Van Ruijven makes history

After the ranking finals raced in the morning, it was time for the main events on 1500m and 500m to start. As it often happens, things didn’t always go the way fans expected but in terms of action, day 2 sure was an exciting one.

By Carl Savard
Photos by Martin Holtom

A tight competition with the best athletes battling until the end. That’s what the 2019 ISU short track speed skating world championships presented at the Armeec Arena in Sofia, Bulgaria is turning out to be. Nobody stole the show on Saturday and you definitely should be in front of your screen tomorrow to enjoy the last day of competition. The athletes that gathered the most points on 1500m, didn’t do as good on 500m. Even though specialists on 1500m are rarely equally strong on 500m, it does happen that a skater will take a serious lead for the overall title on Saturday, but not this year.

Van Ruijven and Choi slightly ahead
On 1500m, it’s with no real surprise that Korea’s Choi Min Jeong won the title followed by Kim Boutin and Sofia Prosvirnova. Suzanne Schulting who finished first this season on the distance on the World cup circuit and Elise Christie who had raced a great semifinal but was penalised were not in the main final. Schulting did gathered important points today though, finishing 3rd on 500m. This year’s title on the distance goes to Lara van Ruijven who skated a great race finishing ahead of Fan Kexin. Martina Valcepina battled van Ruijven at the finish line but was penalised. Van Ruijven's victory is a historical one. The 26-year-old athlete became the first Dutch women to win an individual gold medal at the World championships.

After two distances, we have a tie in 1st place of the overall ranking with Choi  Min Jeong and Lara van Ruijven gathering 34 points. Canada’s Kim Boutin and China’s Fan Kexin are presently in 2nd place with 21 points each. Suzanne Schulting and Russia’s Sofia Prosvirnova presently sit in 5th place with 13 points.

In the 3000m relay event tomorrow, the three countries that filled the podium last year (Korea, the Netherlands and Canada), will fight each other once again this year, but team Russia will be their opponent this season in the main final.

Two Koreans in the lead on the men's side
The way action unfolded today, Lim Hyo Jun could still be crowned overall world champion tomorrow even though he was not able to qualify for the 500m on Friday. In fact, the 22-year-old Korean is presently at a tie with his teammate Hwang Dae Heon in first place. Lim won the 1500m finishing ahead of Samuel Girard and Lee June Seo while Hwang Dae Heon (photo) beat China’s Wu Dajing on 500m. Wu Dajing’s teammate Ren Ziwei finished 3rd. Liu Shaolin Sandor had to settle for 4th place on the distance following a disqualification for false start.

After two events, Hwang and Lim are at a tie in 1st with 34 points, while Canada’s Samuel Girard sits in 3rd with 24. Wu Dajing is presently in 4th place overall with 21 points while Lee June Seo and Ren Ziwei are in 5th place with 13 points. Semen Elistratov is 7th with 10 points while Steven Dubois is 8th with 8 points. Reigning world champion Charles Hamelin is presently 15th.

In the 5000m relay event, Russia, Korea, Hungary and China will battle it out for gold.

For Friday's recap click HERE

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