The first event of the World Cup season is in the books in short track speed skating ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


24 octobre 2021

The first event of the World Cup season is in the books in short track speed skating

The first World Cup event of the 2021-22 season in short track speed skating was held this weekend in Beijing. 

By Carl Savard

Photo: Wang Yang, Beijing 2022

Uncommon scenarios on 1500m

In addition to being the first World Cup event since February 2020, the weekend's competition also served as a test event for the Beijing Olympic Games, which will be held from February 4 to 20, 2022. With Korea always dominant in the 1500m, short track fans have been accustomed to seeing Choi Min-jeong almost systematically on the podium of the distance in recent years. To open the new season, it was her compatriot Lee Yu-bin who took the honours in the distance this weekend. Canada’s Courtney Sarault (silver) and USA’s Kristen Santos (bronze) joined Lee on the podium. On the men's side, Semen Elistratov of Russia finished first ahead of Kazakhstan's Adil Galiakhmetov and China's An Kai. None of the male skaters representing Korea on the 1500m were able to reach the final.

Santos adds to her collection

In the 1000m, Suzanne Schulting from the Netherlands won her first, and surely not her last, gold medal of the season. Korea's Kim Ji-yoo finished in second place while Kristen Santos reached the podium for the second time this weekend. Later on the final day of competition, Santos also helped her team break the American record in the women's 3,000m relay by winning the B final over the distance. "I felt really good this weekend, my main goal is working to qualify as many spots for the games as possible. I get extremely nervous for races, so I think last year with no races I really thrived and benefited just being able to focus on training and I saw a lot of improvements. So this season I want to be sure to keep that same feeling and not let upcoming races affect me too much. This was a great start to the season and I’m just hoping to build on this momentum throughout the rest of the World Cup circuit and hopefully on my path to the Olympic Games."

On the men's side, Hwang Dae-heon of Korea finished first while Semen Elistratov added a silver medal to his weekend haul and Pascal Dion won his second individual World Cup medal of his career with the bronze on the distance. Dion had won silver over the same distance in December 2016 in Gangneung. "I felt really good. I had legs and I was confident. I knew I could do well but I surprised myself. The ice was great and fast." said Dion after the competition.

Known stars reach the podium on 500m

Partly responsible for epic races held over 500m in recent years, Poland's Natalia Maliszewska took top honors this weekend over the distance. Arianna Fontana begins what could be a historic season for her with a silver medal in the 500m finishing ahead of Choi Min-jeong (bronze). Fontana could become the most decorated short track athlete of all time at the Olympics next February. She is currently tied for first place with Viktor Ahn and Apolo Anton Ohno with eight medals. 

On the men's side, Hungary went for a one-two punch as Liu Shaolin Sandor finished first ahead of John-Henry Krueger. Denis Nikisha of Kazakhstan won bronze. 

In the relay events, China, the Netherlands and Korea took the podium in the women's 3000m while the Netherlands, Hungary and Italy filled the podium in the men's 5000m. The mixed 2000m relay was won by China who finished ahead of the Netherlands and Korea.

The athletes will meet next weekend in Nagoya, Japan for the second World Cup event of the season.

For complete results click HERE

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