Osaka (JPN)

After spending yesterday racing through qualifying rounds in all individual distances, the World’s best junior short track speed skaters took the ice today in Osaka for the Ladies and Men 1500 m and 500 m finals. Hakyung Son (KOR) and Jiwon Park (KOR) concluded the day leading their respective World Junior Championship classification, highlighting a perfect day for Korea who won all four individual events.

Sangjeong Kong (KOR) and Jiwon Park (KOR) win their 1500 m events

Sangjeong Kong of Korea won the Ladies 1500 m today, after taking the lead with three laps to go. She took the lead from Yize Zang (CHN) who had led the race up until that point. Zang managed to hold onto second place while Ekaterina Strelkova (RUS) finished in third place. Hakyung Son (KOR) finished in fourth place, earning valuable championship points.

In the Men’s 1500 m final, Jiwon Park (KOR) took the lead with two laps to go and claimed the win in the event.  Wei Ma (CHN) had led the race until that point, however dropped back to finish in sixth place. A duo of Japanese skaters took the other two podium spots: Dan Isawa finished in second place, while his teammate Kazuki Yoshinaga (JPN) finished in third place. Yoshinaga crossed the line in third place by the narrowest of margin, and the officials needed a photo finish review to confirm the results.

Hakyung Son (KOR) and Dagyeom Kim (KOR) claim victory in 500m finals

Hakyung Son (KOR) took the lead in the championships classification by winning the Ladies 500m event. She led the race from start to finish, however a photo finish review was required to determine the winner. Audrey Phaneuf (CAN) was right on Son’s heels, and almost took the win at the finish line. Emina Malagich (RUS) finished in third place while her teammate Ekaterina Strelkova finished fourth.

In the Men’s 500m, Dagyeom Kim (KOR) earned the gold medal with a dominant performance. Kim took the lead from the start and never looked back. Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) finished in second place, after passing Denis Nikisha (KAZ) with one lap to go. Nikisha claimed the third podium spot. Shaong Liu (HUN) finished in fourth place.

The classification after two individuals events is as follows in the Ladies competition: Hakyung Son (42 points), Sangjeong Kong (36 points) and Yize Zang (26 points). In the Men’s competition, the classification is as follows: Jiwon Park (35 points), Dagyeom Kim (34 points), Sandor Liu Shaolin (21 points) and Dan Iwasa (21 points).

Racing resumes tomorrow with the Ladies and Men 1000 m, 1500 m Super Final and the Relay finals. The Ladies Relay final will have the following four teams: Canada, Japan, Korea and Russia; the Men’s Relay final will these teams: China, Hungary, Korea and Russia.