Lausanne / Switzerland

The Short Track season starts this week with the ISU World Cup Short Track series. The circuit consists of six events across North America, Asia and Europe. For the second year the format of the Series will consist of one day of qualification and two days of World Cup Sessions which includes the Finals. At each competition the Men and Ladies Relay races will take place along with Men and Ladies individual races which will be held over 500m, 1000m and 1500m and single distances determine the winners. The first of two Canadian events starts in Montreal (CAN) on October 30 to November 1 and for the first time Toronto will stage a World Cup Short Track Speed Skating Event on November 6-8.  Almost a month later the Series will continue in Asia with Nagoya (JPN) on December 4-6 and move to Shanghai (CHN) on December 11-13. After a long break the World Cup will pick up again in Europe, with the first stop in Dresden (GER) on February 5-7 and finally in Dordrecht (NED) on February 12-14.

Overview over the top contenders

The first ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating starts in Montreal (CAN) where the world’s top skaters including reigning Olympic Champions, World and European Champions and medalists will compete in the Series. In total 116 skaters from 20 ISU Members have entered in this first leg of the Series and the 1000m will be raced twice. The competition starts with the qualification Heats on Friday. On Saturday Qualifying sessions and repechage continues followed by the Ladies and Men 1000m & 1500m Finals and the 3000m Relay Ladies & 5000m Relay Men Semi-Finals. Finally on Sunday Ladies and Men 500m & second 1000m Finals, 3000m Relay Ladies and 5000m Relay Men Finals will take place.

Strong contenders in the Ladies include 2014 World bronze medalist Valerie Maltais, (CAN) and teammate Marianne St-Gelais (CAN) 2010 Olympic Winter Games 500m silver medalist, 2014 Olympic Winter Games 1000 silver medalist and reigning 500m World Champion Kexin Fan (CHN), reigning European Champion Elise Christie (GBR) and 2015 European bronze medalist Patrycja Maliszewska (POL).

Holder of the 1500m 2014 Olympic and 500m 2010 Olympic titles Charles Hamelin (CAN) will compete on home ice. The Chinese squad will feature Olympic 1500m silver medalist Tianyu Han and 2014 Allround Olympic silver medalist and 2015 500m World Champion Dajing Wu. 2015 World Junior Bronze medalist Sandor Liu Shaolin (HUN), who also won a 500m World silver medal in 2015 will face the strong Korean team headlined by Se Yeong Park and Yoon-Gy Kwak, reigning World 1000m Champion and 2012 World Allround Champion respectively. Reigning Allround World Champion and European Champion Sjinkie Knegt (NED) will take to the ice with 2015 World 1500m Champion Semen Elistratov (RUS).  Having taken one year off competitive skating JR Celski (USA), 2014 World Allround silver medalist, will make his comeback.

Promotion of Short Track Speed Skating

In order to make Short Track Speed Skating more attractive, the ISU will implement a number of initiatives during the season. The racing suits will have a better design and each skater will have a dedicated number throughout the season in order to better identify the skaters.  Last season the ISU launched a social media video campaign called WaitWhat, A Moment With and What’s in My Bag. The campaign will continue this season with the videos made available on the ISU social media platforms and website.  Finally a number of promotional materials will be produced to promote the upcoming ISU Events and the top Short Track Speed Skaters of today.

The full list of dedicated numbers and further information regarding the promotional initiatives are available in ISU Communication 1954.