The world's best short track speed skaters resumed racing this weekend, for the third stop of the 2011-12 Korean Air ISU World Cup Short Track. Skaters were competing in Nagoya, Japan.
21 countries were in action this weekend. The team from China earned a total of 7 medals. Korea took a total of 6 medals. Canada, Italy and Japan, with the support of the home crowd, each earned 4 medals. The United States earned 3 medals while Great Britain and Russia earned one medal each.
This weekend, the skaters competed over the 1000m distance twice, along with the usual other distances. The first Ladies 1000m Final was won by Japanese skater Yui Sakai, while second and third place finishers were Elise Christie (GBR) and Katherine Reutter (USA) respectively. The second final was an all-Chinese podium: Jianrou Li (first), Meng Lin (second) and Han Xiao (third). Sakai maintains her lead in the World Cup rankings for the distance.
On the men's side, the 1000m Final, Yoon-Gy Kwak of Korea took the win in the first race, with J.R. Celski of the United States finishing second. Yi Ra Seo (KOR) was third. In the second final, Canadian skater Charles Hamelin won the race, with Yoon-Gy Kwak (KOR) taking second. Third place finish went to Michael Gilday of Canada. Kwak extends his lead in the World Cup rankings for the distance, with a podium result in both races.
The Ladies 500m Final was won by Italian skater Arianna Fontana. Yui Sakai (JPN) was second, and Marina Valcepina (ITA) was third. On the men's side, Canadian skater Oliver Jean took the win. Wenhao Liang of China finished second ahead of his teammate Qiuwen Gong. Valcepina and Jean lead the World Cup standings in both the ladies and men's rankings respectively.
In the Ladies 1500m Final, Fontana took her second win of the weekend ahead of Ha-Ri Cho (KOR) second and Lana Gehring (USA) third. Eun-Byul Lee of Korea maintains her lead in the World Cup standings, despite not finishing on the podium. On the men's side, Korean skater Jinkyu Noh took the win, allowing him to extend his lead in the World Cup ranking for the distance. His teammate Ho-Suk Lee completed a 1-2 finish for Korea and third place finisher was Charle Cournoyer of Canada.
The weekend concluded with the Relay events. The ladies 3000m Relay Final was won by Italy. Japan finished second, while China earned a third place finish. In the men's 5000m relay event, the team from China took the win, ahead of Russia, with two-second-place finish so far this season. Japan finished in third place.
The Korea Air ISU World Cup Short Track circuit moves to Shanghai, China on December 9-11, 2011.