Martina Valcepina (ITA) shook off the expectation of being Italy’s poster girl and delivered the 500m gold Torino was hoping for as the final Short Track speed skating World Cup of the season got under way on Saturday. Natalia Maliszewska (POL), took silver, while PyeongChang 2018 Olympic 500m bronze medallist Kim Boutin (CAN) was left with bronze.
Elise Christie (GBR) Martina Valcepina (ITA) Maame Biney (USA) at the World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Martina Valcepina (ITA) sealed a 500m World Cup double in a pulsating ladies’ 500m final. In a dramatic twist Schulting fell halfway through, leaving Maame Biney (USA) free to claim bronze in her first ever World Cup A final, behind her hero Elise Christie (GBR). However, it is Poland’s Natalia Maliszewska who claimed the season-long 500m World Cup title, despite failing to qualify for the final after “clicking skates” in the semifinal.
Kim Boutin (CAN), Alyson Charles (CAN) at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating ITA 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Another skater looking towards Sofia is Canada’s Kim Boutin. The PyeongChang 2018 triple medal winner showed her undoubted pedigree by claiming the 1000m gold on Sunday, ahead of Korea’s Choi Min Jeong. One of those rookies, Alyson Charles, took bronze behind Boutin and Choi, confirming that the Canadians will be ones to watch in Sofia.
Team Italy, Team Netherlands and Team Russia at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
But events in Turin ended as they started with the crowd cheering more home success. Led once again by Valcepina, the Italian women’s 3000m relay team brushed aside their lowly world ranking to snatch silver in the final behind the Netherlands. Russia finished third.
World No.1 Kim Gun Woo (KOR) led the Korean Short Track speed skating team to yet another day of golden glory. Steven Dubois (CAN), picked up 1500m bronze behind Kim and fellow Korean Hong Kyung Hwan.
Hwang Dae Heon (KOR) Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) Cedrik Blais (CAN) at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Another world-class skater struggling to figure out how to combat the Korean wave is Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu. The 2019 triple European champion secured his first 500m World Cup podium place since the season-opening weekend in Calgary, Canada yet he could do nothing to stop Hwang Dae Heon (KOR) from grabbing gold. Cedrik Blais (CAN) won the bronze.
Team Japan, Team Russia and Team Italy at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Russia’s 5000m men’s relay team powered to victory and denied the all-conquering Koreans a fifth successive gold medal as the Short Track speed skating World Cup season ended in Torino, Italy on Sunday. Japan won silver and Italy took bronze.
Lim Hyo Jun (KOR) at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
For the second day in a row, Korean men claimed both individual gold medals, with two of their biggest stars showing their impressive versatility. A day after winning a third successive 1500m World Cup gold to secure the season-long title, Kim Gun Woo swept into the 500m final. But once there, the overall world No.1 found his compatriot Lim Hyo Jun just a little too hot to handle. The gold saw Lim secure the overall World Cup sprint title by 1439 points from China’s absent 500m Olympic champion Wu Dajing.
Park Ji Won (KOR) Hwang Daeheon (KOR) Steven Dubois (CAN) at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating (ITA) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
In the men’s 1000m it was a case of anything Kim can do, compatriot Hwang Dae Heon could do even better. Fresh from taking sprint gold on Saturday, the PyeongChang 2018 500m silver medallist turned his hand to the 1000m and won that too. The 19-year-old was accompanied in the final by two of his teammates, Park Ji Won – who took silver and with it secured the overall World Cup 1000m title – and Hong Kyung Hwan. The three-pronged assault made it a tough afternoon for bronze medal winner Steven Dubois (CAN).