World juniors in short track: Koreans dominate - Brunelle and Balbekov leave their marks ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


3 février 2020

World juniors in short track: Koreans dominate - Brunelle and Balbekov leave their marks

The 2020 ISU World Junior Short track Championships just took place in Bormio, Italy, from January 31st to February 2nd

By Eugenio Secchi
Photos by ISU speed skating & OIS - IOC

The competition included elite skaters from all over the world, a few of them belonging to their own senior National Teams with some already competing in the World Cup Circuit as well.

Two new records on Friday 
The first day of racing, Friday 31st, saw the athletes competing for a spot to battle for the medals which were going to be distributed on Saturday (1500m and 500m) and Sunday (1000m and 3000m relays). Emotions were high from the very start of the competition. Chinese skater Zhang Tianyi skated the 500m in a time of 40.331, establishing a new world junior record in the distance, while Russian athlete Vladimir Balbekov finished his 1000m qualification race in 1.23.690, - again - a new world junior record.

Two medals for Florence Brunelle on Saturday
On Saturday, in the ladies 1500m, Korean skater Kim Geonhenne got the gold medal. She was followed at the line by Canada’s Florence Brunelle (silver) while China’s Li Xuan (bronze) completed the podium. Two more Korean skaters, Kim Gilli and Kim Chanseo, along with Slovakia’s Petra Rusnakova and USA’s Corinne Stoddard also took part in the A final, while local favourite Elisa Confortola won the B final. In the 500m Florence Brunelle got away with yet another silver medal, proving she’s a strong athlete on both long and short distances. Corinne Stoddard got the 3rd place, while victory went to Dutch skater Xandra Velzeboer.

As for the men, Koreans were dominant on both the long as well as the short distance on Saturday. In the 1500m Kim Taesung got the highest spot on the podium finishing ahead of his teammate Ahn Hyunjun. China’s Zhang Tianyi completed the podium winning the bronze medal. Italian skater Luca Spechenhauser got very close to a World Junior medal finishing fourth. In the 500m, Korea’s Lee Jeongmin won the gold medal, while Vladimir Balbekov  won silver and China’s Sun Long got the bronze.

More new records on Sunday
On Sunday, Kim Gilli got the gold medal in the ladies 1000m event, finishing ahead of Corinne Stoddard and Russia’s Anna Matveeva. Sun Long (gold), Ahn Hyunjun (silver) and Balbekov (bronze) were the best men on the distance.

Only three teams took part in the A final of the relay, both on the ladies and on the men’s side. This may have contributed to the athletes skating very fast, knowing they would anyway get away with a medal if penalties were avoided. The Dutch team (Velzeboer, Otter, Wiersma and Dalrymple) skated the 3000m ladies relay in 4.12.019, a new world junior record. Russia and Italy completed the podium.

In the last event of the competition, the men’s 3000m relay, the Korean team (Ahn, Jang, Kim, Lee) got the gold with a time of 3.55.494, three seconds faster than the previous world junior record held by China. Just like their female teammates, the Russians got the silver medal on the men’s relay while Japan won the bronze medal.

For full results click HERE

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