ISU World Cup Short Track
This weekend, the world’s finest short-track speed skaters travelled to Changchun, China for the third round of the 2010-11 ISU World Cup Short Track season. The event marked the first of two consecutive World Cup competitions in China, and featured the return of the Korean team to World Cup competition, with a total of 22 countries participating.
The Chinese team looked as if they’d been taking careful note of the Canadian team’s playbook, taking full advantage of skating on home soil. They dominated the medal count, earning a total of 9 this weekend. With the return of the Korean team, it was no surprise to see its skaters stepping on to the podium throughout the weekend; they took a total of 7 medals. The other countries to earn medals were United States (4), Canada (3), France (3), Japan (1), Netherlands (1) and Russia (1).
With the qualification rounds scheduled on Friday, the first medals were handed out on Saturday afternoon. For this event, the skaters competed in 500m events twice, as well as racing once in the 1000m, 1500m and Relay events. The women from China dominated both the 500m Finals, taking 5 out of the 6 possible podium places. In the first 500m event, Nannan Zhao took the win, ahead of team-mates Qiuhong Liu (second) and Kexin Fan (third). In the second event, Zhao took the win again, allowing her to take over the lead in the World Cup distance classification in the 500m. Second place in the second event went to Kexin Fan, while Dam Min Kim of Korea took third.
The ladies’ 1500m Final was won by Katherine Reutter of the United States, which allowed her to take the lead in the World Cup distance classification for the 1500m. Ha-Ri Cho of Korea finished second in the event, while Biba Sakurai of Japan was third. On the men’s side, Ho-Suk Lee of Korea took the win in the 1500m Final, while Xianwei Liu of China was second. Third place finish went to Jeff Simon, which was enough to give him the lead in the World Cup distance classification for the 1500m.
In the 1000m events, it was a Korean win for both the ladies and men’s events. In the ladies competition, the winner was Shin-Young Yang, while Marie-Eve Drolet of Canada finished second. Third place finish went to Yang Zhou of China. Katherine Reutter (USA) was able to maintain her lead in the World Cup classification for the distance despite finishing 9th in the 1000m event.
The weekend’s competition concluded with the Relay events. The ladies 3000m Relay Final was won by Korea, although China was a very close second. Third place finish went to the team from the Netherlands.
The next stop of the ISU World Cup Short Track takes place on December 10-12, 2010 in Shanghai, China.
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day