The Republic of Korea’s Choi Min Jeong crowned a fine weekend’s skating with victory in the 1000m and the ladies’ 3000m relay, having won two gold medals on Saturday.
The 19-year-old said returning to Korea with four gold medals eased the pressure of being the big home hope for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
"I'm really happy. I feel more confident now than yesterday," she said.
"The final race was pretty easy because I had such good results yesterday and got a lot of confidence."
Kim Boutin, of Canada, stayed in the top two throughout the 1000m race to claim her second silver medal of the weekend, beating world champion Elise Christie (GBR) who won bronze.
Boutin was also runner-up behind Choi in the 1500m final on Saturday, and the Canadian 22-year-old pledged to continue to chase the weekend's most dominant athlete.
"For me it was a really good start. It's a first final for me with these girls and I feel that it's just the beginning, I'm going to find a way to pass the Korean in front of me too," Boutin said.
Her Canadian teammates had led the ladies 3000m relay final for the first 13 laps, before losing out to the Korean team but finishing ahead of Russia to win the silver medal.
"It was a hard race because the Koreans showed good strength from the beginning," Kasandra Bradette (CAN) said.
"But I think we showed what we can do and I still think that we can do better."
In the concluding final of the weekend, Canada’s men’s relay team sprinted to gold, inspired by the ladies' effort.
"It's always nice to see the ladies step on the podium and do a very strong race, it pumps us up and we are all happy when we go out of the arena afterwards," Pascal Dion (CAN) said.
After a strong Canadian start, Dion nearly fell in the 21st lap after a clash with Korean star Seo Yi Ra.
However, Dion and teammates Charles Hamelin (CAN), Charle Cournoyer (CAN) and Samuel Girard (CAN) fought back, sprinting from third to first position in the closing nine laps.
"That was just incredible. It was a pretty good race, we managed to catch up on the Chinese and the Japanese and had a constant speed all the way to the end and were able to actually push for the win," Cournoyer said.
"First World Cup, first win – we couldn't have asked for a better start. That gives us a lot of room to qualify for the (Olympic) Games too. Now we are going to improve even more."
Finishing fourth, Korea missed the podium for the first and only time this weekend.
Lim Hyo Jun (KOR) and Hwang Dae Heon (KOR) had taken gold and silver respectively in the 1000m final earlier on Sunday, leaving the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track in Budapest with three medals each.
The 1500m bronze medalist (and 500m world champion) Sjinkie Knegt (NED) had been leading the 1000m final with one lap to go but was penalised for pulling down Lim as the pair crossed the finish line. With the Dutch star excluded, Han Tianyu, of China, took his place on the podium to claim the bronze medal.
The Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating series continues next weekend in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
About Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating 2017/18 Series and qualification system for PyeongChang 2018
The Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating consists of four events during the Olympic season; Budapest (September28-October 1), Dordrecht (October 5-8), Shanghai (November 9-12) and Seoul (November 16-19). The 2017/18 Series is also the Olympic Qualifying events for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
The competitions have a single distance character and are held in separate sessions. The first two days of the event are dedicated to all Qualifying Rounds. On the third and fourth days the last Qualifying Rounds take place before the World Cup session. A and B Finals are held for each distance 500m, 1000m and 1500m. Skaters qualify for A and B Finals only through the Semi-Finals. Men and Ladies also compete in the Team Relay races, 3000m for Ladies and 5000m for Men. Each team consists of four competing Skaters. Skaters gain World Cup points from each distance they compete in during the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating series. The Skater with the most World Cup points at the end of the season wins the distance World Cup.
A total of 110 Olympic spaces are up for grabs during the four Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating events. As the host country, the Republic of Korea automatically qualifies five Ladies and five Men. However, all other ISU Members must compete in the Audi ISU World Cup series in order to qualify up to five Ladies and five Men (quota including a qualified Relay Team), or up to three Ladies and three Men (quota excluding a qualified Relay Team).
Quota places per gender are earned based on the results achieved by the ISU Members competing at the four Audi ISU World Cup Events. Skaters ranked within the top 32 (top eight for the Team Relay) in the World Cup classification of the individual distances will qualify for PyeongChang 2018. If an ISU Member has more than 3 Skaters ranked in the top 32 or decides not to use a spot, skaters on the waiting list will qualify (e.g. athlete ranked 33 in a distance World Cup Classification will take the next available spot).