After spending yesterday racing through qualifying heats in all individual distances, the world’s best short track speed skaters took the ice today at the Rotterdam Ahoy arena in Rotterdam (NED) where the Ladies and Men 1500 m and 500 m champions were crowned.
Christie takes first ever Ladies World Champion title for Britain
Elise Christie (GBR) led the last eight laps in the 1500m, holding off the challenges of St-Gelais, Arianna Fontana (ITA) and three skaters from Korea. She crossed the line first becoming the first British lady to win a World Championship title in Short Track Speed Skating. Marianne St-Gelais (CAN) finished second and Suk Hee Shim (KOR) finish third. Fontana crossed the finish line in fourth place, followed by Min Jeong Choi (KOR). Ji Yoo Kim (KOR) received a penalty in the race for impeding.
Fan takes fourth World Championships gold
The 500m race was between Kexin Fan (CHN) and Marianne St-Gelais (CAN). St-Gelais took the lead in the first to laps but then Fan settled in as the leader until the end. Ji Yoo Kim (KOR) finished the race in third place, followed by Elise Christie (GBR).
Ladies overall classification
Having won the first race of the day, Christie started the 500m race with the infamous red helmet cover as the overall classification leader. However St-Gelais caught up and is currently tied with Christie at 42 points. Kexin Fan (CHN) sits in third place with 34 points, followed by Koreans: Suk Hee Shim with 18 points and Ji Yoo Kim with 15 points. Reigning Lady World Champion Min Jeong Choi (KOR) sits in seventh place with 5 points.
Da Woon Sin (KOR) wins second 1500m World title
Samuel Girard (CAN) positioned himself towards the front of the eight skater pack but Sin was never far behind. When Sin made his move with four laps to go, no one could pass him anymore but Girard stayed on his heels and finished second. A photo finish had to determine who finished third as it was so close. Yi Ra Seo (KOR) took the bronze medal by the tip of his blade. Victor An (RUN), a six-time World Champion, finished fourth ahead of home favorite Sjinkie Knegt who was fifth. Eights skaters were at the line in the 1500 m final, and remaining finish positions from sixth to eight went as follows: Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN), Victor Knoch (HUN) and J.R. Celski (USA).
Sjinkie Knegt (NED) makes the crowd go wild with 500m title
The Dutch crowd had great expectations for Knegt and they were not disappointed with is performance today. He held the lead almost all throughout the race, usually an expert in the 1500m, he took the title ahead of 500m specialist Dajing Wu (CHN). Yi Ra Seo (KOR) joined them on the podium. Samuel Girard (CAN) earned valuable championship points, with a fourth-place finish.
Men overall classification
Knegt is currently leading the overall classification with 39 points but Sin is only five points behind with 34. The all-important overall title is still open with the 1000m and 3000m Super Final taking place on Sunday. Other skaters on the classification board are Samuel Girard (CAN) with 29 points, Yi Ra Seo (KOR) with 26 points and Dajing Wu (CHN) with 21 points.Defending World Champion, Tianyu Han (CHN), had a challenging day and was unable to score championship points. He is currently ranked 15th overall.
Ladies and Men Relay Semi-Finals
The Dutch Relay teams really got the crowd going during the races. The teams qualified for the Ladies final are Netherlands, Japan, Hungary and China. And on the Men’s side teams China, Russia, Hungary and Netherlands are also qualified. Seeing how the crowd reacted to the race today, tomorrow promises to be even more exciting.
Racing resumes tomorrow with the Ladies and Men 1000 m, 3000 m Super Final and the Team Relay finals. Netherlands, Hungary, Japan and China and Japan have qualified for the ladies relay final while China, Hungary, Russia and Netherlands have qualified for the men’s Relay final. This means that a new Lady Relay World Champion will be crowned tomorrow.
About the KPN ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017
The ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships have both a single distance and allround format. A total of 10 World titles are up for grabs, Ladies and Men 500m, 1000m, 1500m, allround and Team Relay.
The allround classification is based on the results of each skater in the three individual distances 500m, 1000m and 1500m. After the completion of the three distances the top eight point scorers and ties on the eighth position will skate the 3000m Super Final. For the individual distances the final points 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 and 1 are awarded to Final A and Final B Skaters in descending order. In the case of a penalty or did not finish in the Final A, the skater(s) concerned will be awarded points equal to the winner of the Final B. In the case of a penalty in the Final B, the skater(s) concerned will not be awarded any points. No points are awarded to skaters who receive a yellow or red card or did not start the race.