A last day filled with emotions in Dordrecht ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


16 février 2020

A last day filled with emotions in Dordrecht

The 2019-2020 World Cup season in short track speed skating ended in a lively atmosphere in Dordrecht and the crowd enjoyed a great show despite the many absentees. 

By Carl Savard
Photo by Martin Holtom

He who is absenis always in the wrong. Today the absentees missed one of the most exciting day of the World Cup season. The crowd was loud at the Optisport Sportboulevard Dordrechtet and was served amazing performances by their favorites and witnessed emotional moments linked to athletes from other countries. I could give you an emotionless summary of the results, but I realized once again today how much I love this sport. I promise to share my opinions soon about the numerous no-shows of the weekend, but today I want to focus on those who gave their all. 

A crowd pleaser result on 500m
In the women's 500m it would have been difficult to offer a better show to the Dutch fans. Two of their favourites, Lara van Ruijven and Yara van Kerkhof, were in the main final and had to face China's Qu Chunyu, Poland's Kamila Stormowska and Great Britain's Elise Christie. To see Christie, the 2017 World Champion, in the big final in this last World Cup event of the season after a long walk through the desert that started in 2018, was amazing. In the end, the Dutch finished first (van Ruijven) and second (van Kerkhof) to the delight of the crowd. The 19-year-old Polish won her first World Cup medal and Elise Christie showed great things despite her penalty. For her, a presence in the main final today was a victory in itself. On the men's side, Lee June Seo won gold, finishing ahead of Stijn Desmet (silver) and Abzal Azhgaliyev (bronze). 

Three out of six possible medals for Korea on 1000m
In the second 1000m of the weekend, Korea's Kim Ji Yoo won finishing ahead of China's Han Yu Tong and Russia's Sofia Prosvirnova. Suzanne Schulting, who fell in the semifinal, had to settle for a win in the B final, but still finished first overall in the distance's season ranking. On the men's side, Park Ji Won won his second gold medal of the competition with his victory in the 1000m. His compatriot Kim Dong Wook won silver while Canada's Steven Dubois took home bronze. 

The energy level reached it's apogee in the relays
In the women's 3000m relay, the Dutch lifted their supporters with a victory that placed them first in the final standings for the 2019-2020 season. The Dutch women have been steadily progressing throughout the season and few teams on both the women's and men's side show that level of cohesion on the ice. The Canadians finished second while the Koreans took the bronze.

The men's ended the World Cup season with a fierce battle between the Netherlands, Canada, China and Korea in the relay. Canada finally won the gold medal by three hundredths of a second over the Netherlands. An exhilarating end to the race in a relay that saw Sjinkie Knegt back on the podium after a solid performance to help his team today. On a personal note, I was touched to see 2018 World Champion Charles Hamelin exchange a few words with 2015 World Champion Knegt and give him a tap on the back in a gesture that seemed to welcome the return of the Dutch star after major injuries kept him off the ice for a long time. China took the bronze medal while Korea was penalized in the final. 

Athletes now have a month to prepare for the last international competition of the season, the World Championships that will be held in Seoul in March. 

For full results click HERE

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