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ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championship Courmayeur (ITA)
This year’s ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championship was held in Courmayeur, Italy. Hee Jung Cheon was crowned Ladies 2011 Champion respectively.
The world’s best junior-aged short track speed skaters, representing 33 countries, were in attendance for this three-day event. The championships were dominated by the Korean skaters, with their team earning a total of 11 medals out of possible 30. In the ladies’ competition, Korea finished first and second, with both Hee Jung Cheon and Se Jung Ahn tying for points after four events. However, it was Cheon who took the overall title, having won two of the distances over the weekend. With Ahn finishing second, it was local favorite Martina Valcepina of Italy who completed the podium.
The weekend began with the 1500 meter events. In the ladies competition, Cheon (Korea) began her quest for the World Junior Championship title by taking the win at this distance ahead of her team-mate Ahn. Meng Ling of China finished third.
In the ladies’ 500 meter event, Martina Valcepina, a specialist at this distance, took the win, much to the delight of the local Italian fans. Lara Van Ruijven of the Netherlands was second, and Meng Lin of China was third.
On the last day of the weekend, the championship titles were still up for grabs in the ladies competition. In the ladies’ 1000 meter event, the winner was again Ahn, with team-mate Do Hee Noh finishing second, with Han Xiao of China third.
Entering the final race of the weekend, the outcome of the 1500 meter Super Finals in the ladies competition was going to determine which of the championship contenders was going to take the title. In the ladies’ 1500 meter Super Final, it was an all-Korean podium. Cheon took the win, ahead of team-mates Noh (second) and Ahn (third). The win provided Cheon with the overall championship win, despite being tied for points with her team-mate Ahn.
The weekend’s racing concluded with the 3000 meter relay events. The ladies’ event was won by the team from Italy, much to the delight of the local crowd. Canada finished a close second, while China was third.