Arianna Fontana makes history / Natalia Maliszewska's nightmare continues ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


5 février 2022

Arianna Fontana makes history / Natalia Maliszewska's nightmare continues

The first day of short track competition was presented today in Beijing and the first round of the women's 500m and men's 1000m and the full competition of the mixed relay event were on the schedule.

By Carl Savard

Photo by Schaats Foto's

Broken dreams

The women competition in the 500m did not bring major surprises today, but a dream was broken. While the majority of the favourites got their ticket to the next round, including the three Canadians in the running (Kim Boutin, Florence Brunelle and Alyson Charles), Natalia Maliszewska's nightmare continued. After testing positive for Covid-19 last Sunday, the Polish skater was given the green light yesterday to report to the arena for the first day of competition after testing negative following her isolation period. Unfortunately for the skater who won gold on the distance last fall at the first World Cup event of the season and as been a major player on the distance, her covid test on the first day of competition came back positive and she was not granted the right to skate. The kind of nightmarish situation that all athletes fear since their arrival in China. 

Not much to report in the men's 1000m as the best athletes are moving on to the next round including Canadians Pascal Dion (first in the World Cup standings this season over the distance) and Olympic rookie Jordan Pierre-Gilles. A small surprise worthy of the Olympics though as Turkish athlete Furkan Akar will also be in the next round. He crossed the finish line smiling after a collision between Denis Ayrapetyan and Kazuki Yoshinaga helped him finish second. 

One more for the living legend

The only event on the schedule that was going to award medals today, the mixed relay event, had the most action. Poland had to fight without Natalia Maliszewska, Korea fell in the quarter-finals while the Netherlands did the same in the semi-finals. In addition, the athletes representing the Russian Olympic Committee and the Americans were penalized in the semi-finals. Canada, China, Hungary and Italy had a date in the grand final. A fall by Canada leading to a penalty deprived them of a possible medal. China won, finishing ahead of Italy and Hungary. This Italian silver medal makes Arianna Fontana the most decorated short track speed skater in history. With nine medals, Fontana passes the legends Apolo Anton Ohno and Ahn Hyun-soo (Viktor Ahn) who both have eight. Don't be surprised if Fontana adds to her individual haul in the coming days. 

For the complete schedule and results, please visit HERE

Read our previous articles about the Olympics 

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