The ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating Series 2015/16 debuted today in Montreal (CAN) with the Ladies and Men’s 1000 m and 1500 m events.
Minjeong Choi (KOR) and Tianyu Han (CHN) win the first 1000 m of the weekend
Minjeong Choi of Korea claimed the win in the first of two Ladies’ 1000 m events this weekend. Marianne St-Gelais (CAN) earned the second place and Kexin Fan (CHN) settled for third. Yui Sakai of Japan took the early led in the race, before being passed by Kexin Fan at the midway point of the race. Fan’s lead was short lived as Minjeong Choi took the lead with three laps to go; a lead that Choi held until the end. Fan dropped from second to third place when Marianne St-Gelais passed her, and Sakai finished the race in fourth place.
On the Men’s side, Tianyu Han of China claimed the win in the 1000 m event, which saw three leader changes throughout the race. Jingnan Shi (CHN) earned the second place, giving China a one-two finish in the event. Artem Kozlov of Russia finished third, while Francois Hamelin (CAN), who led the race early on, settled for fourth place.
Korean skaters dominate the 1500 m
Suk Hee Shim of Korea won the Ladies’ 1500 m ahead of Canadian skater Kim Boutin. Suk Hee Shim took the lead from Boutin with seven laps to go, and held onto it until the end. Anna Seidel of Germany finished in third place, earning her first ever World Cup medal. Two Dutch skaters finished in fourth and fifth place: Suzanna Schulting followed by her teammate Yara van Kerkhof.
Yoon-Gy Kwak (KOR) took Korea’s third win of the day by finishing first in the Men’s 1500 m. Kwak took the lead from Sjinkie Knegt (NED) on the last lap. Knegt crossed the finished line in second place, while Fu Xu (CHN) narrowly edged out Patrick Duffy (CAN) for the third and final podium spot. Fifth place finisher was Csaba Burjan of Hungary. Unfortunately, early-race leader and crowd favourite Charles Hamelin (CAN) fell as a result of a passing attempt by Semen Elistratov (RUS); Elistratov received a penalty as a result.
Racing resumes tomorrow with the Ladies and Men 500 m and the second 1000 m events. The teams advancing in Ladies 3000m Relay final are Canada, China, Korea and Russia; in the Men’s 5000m Relay, China, Hungary, Korea and the Netherlands will be competing in the final.