Moscow / Russia

Arianna Fontana (Italy) and Semen Elistratov (Russia) lead their respective championship classification at the end of the second day of racing at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2015. The skaters competed in the 1500 m and 500 m events today, as well as in the Relay semi finals.    

Arianna Fontana (ITA) and Semen Elistratov (RUS) earn gold in their 1500 m events

In the Ladies 1500 m event, Arianna Fontana had to contend with seven other skaters, including the defending World Champion Suk Hee Shim (KOR) and this season’s winner of the 1500 m World Cup classification Minjeong Choi (KOR). Fontana took the lead with three laps to go and never looked back to claim the win ahead of three Korean skaters. Suk Hee Shim had a great start to her quest to defend her world championship title with a silver medal in the event; Shim’s teammate Minjeong Choi finished in third place. The others to claim points in this race were: Kim Alang (KOR), Jiaying Tao (CHN), Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS), Kim Boutin (CAN) and Moemi Kikuchi (JPN) who finished fourth through eight respectively.

Semen Elistratov of Russia delighted the home fans with a gold medal finish in the Men’s 1500 m final. Elistratov had though competition to contend with: the race included the defending World champion Victor An (RUS), the 1500 m Olympic champion Charles Hamelin (CAN), and the 2015 European champion Sjinkie Knegt (NED). Hamelin and Elistratov shared the lead throughout the race, which ultimately required the officials to perform a photo-finish review in order to confirm the final results. Elistratov narrowly edged out Sjinkie Knegt, who managed to put his right skate ahead of Hamelin to earn a silver medal. Charles Hamelin earned the bronze medal. Positions four through six were: Se Yeong Park (KOR), Victor An (RUS), and Daan Breeuwsma (NED). 

Kexin Fan (CHN) and Dajing Wu (CHN) earn gold in their 500 m events

Kexin Fan continued her domination of the 500 m this season with a gold medal performance today. She led the race from start to finish, and earned valuable championship points. Elise Christie (GBR) crossed the line in second place, while Arianna Fontana (ITA) earned her second podium finish of the day with a bronze medal in the 500 m. Minjeong Choi (KOR) finished in fourth place. 

The Men’s 500 m final saw two skaters from China on the podium: Dajing Wu (CHN) crossed the line in first place while his teammate Tianyu Han was third. Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) managed to split the two skaters from China, to earn a silver medal. Sjinkie Knegt (NED) made his second appearance in as many finals today, and finished fourth.

After two days of racing, the top-3 ladies in the overall championship classification are: Arianna Fontana (47 points), Kexin Fan (32 points) and three skaters tied with 21 points: Minjeong Choi, Suk Hee Shim and Elise Christie. In the men’s classification, the top-3 skaters are: Semen Elistratov (36 points), Dajing Wu (24 points) and Sjinkie Knegt (29 points).

The ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2015 concludes tomorrow with the ladies and men 1000 m, 3,000m Super Final and Relay finals.  The Ladies Relay final will have five teams at the start line: Korea was advanced as a result of a penalty incurred by Russia. The teams joining Korea in the Ladies Relay final are: China, Japan, Italy, and Hungary. The Men’s Relay final will these teams: China, Korea, Hungary, and Netherlands.