The ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2015 will open in Osaka, Japan on February 27 - March 1. It is the first time that Japan hosts these Junior Championships where 160 skaters from 32 ISU Members have been entered to compete.
At the World Junior Championships only allround titles are up for grabs. The allround classification is based on the results of each skater in the three individual distances 500m, 1000m, 1500m and if qualified the 1500m Super Final. Only the top eight point scorers and ties on the eighth position after the completion of the three first distances will skate the 1500m Super Final. For the individual distances the final points 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 and 1 are awarded in descending order commencing with the first place. No points are awarded to skaters who receive a yellow or red card or failed to finish the race.
There are a lot of new faces this season with many Juniors moving up to senior level at the start of this new Olympic cycle. The reigning Junior medalists in the ladies field will not compete, therefore the podium is wide open. Korea has a strong new squad of young talent which includes Jiyoo Kim, Sangjeong Kong and Hakyung Son. Deanna Lockett (AUS) competed at the Olympic Winter Games last year and at several Senior level Events, she will be looking to get her first Junior title. Canada has a strong Relay team and have won a number of medals this season on the senior circuit. Last year Korea, Canada and China got gold, silver and bronze respectively in the Relay event. They will compete against Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia and USA.
In the Men’s field the only defending medalist is Sandor Liu Shaolin (HUN) who took the bronze and will be aiming to climb the podium once again. Ziwei Ren (CHN) will be back this year to see if he can get a medal and Samuel Girard (CAN) who finished fourth last year will be wanting to get on the podium too. Of course Korea has a strong team of fresh talent who will also compete.
In the Relay, defending Champions Team China will try to keep their title while Hungary and Japan who got silver and bronze respectively will aim to better their medals. There will be tough competition from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey and USA.
The schedule of the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships 2015 is as follows:
Friday, February 27: Qualifying Rounds 1500, 500, 1000 meters Ladies & Men
Saturday, February 28: Ranking Races 1500, 500 meters Ladies & Men, Semi-Finals & Finals 1500 meters Ladies & Men, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Finals 500 meters Ladies & Men, Semi-Finals 3000 meters Relay Ladies, Semi-Finals 3000 meters Relay Men
Sunday, March 1: Ranking Races 1000 meters Ladies & Men, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Finals 1000 meters Ladies & Men, Super-Finals 1500 meters Ladies & Men, Finals 3000 meters Relay Ladies, Finals 3000 meters Relay Men