- Kolomna, Russia
Racing resumed today in Kolomna, Russia, with last chances for skaters to earn World Cup ranking points and 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualifying places.
The day began with the 1000m events and featured great racing throughout the rounds leading up to the finals. Arianna Fontana (ITA) made up for a disappointing performance in the 500m on Saturday by winning the 1000m final. Fontana took advantage of a slip by Valérie Maltais (CAN) who had been dominating the race with a lap to go. Alang Kim (KOR) finished second, while Elise Christie (GBR) took third. The World Cup distance leader, Suk-Hee Shim clinched the overall title for the distance, despite finishing fifth today. Kim and Fontana conclude the series in second and third place in the overall World Cup distance classification.
In the Men's 1000m final, Charles Hamelin (CAN) took his second win in as many weekends at this distance, allowing him to clinch the overall 1000m World Cup title. Hamelin, who led the better part of the race, was followed by Thibaut Fauconnet of France in second place and the American JR Celski in third. Victor An (RUS) secured second place in the overall World Cup classification for the distance thanks to a 12th-place finish today; Niels Kerstholt (NED) took third place overall after a fifth-place finish today.
The Ladies' 3000m Relay final has seen the same four teams race against each other throughout the Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track this season: Korea, China, Italy and Canada. The team from China brought this season's Korean winning streak for the event to an end, crossing the line just ahead of the Korean team. Korea had already clinched the World Cup title in the Ladies' Relay event, with China finishing second overall. Today's third-place finish by Italy secures their third-place finish in the overall classification.
The Men's 5000m Relay final provided an opportunity for the team from the United States to regain the lead in the World Cup rankings, as the current leader, Canada, was relegated to racing in Final B. The Americans made the most of it, taking the win ahead of Russia. The victory allowed the United States to clinch the World Cup title for the Men's Relay event, while Canada ended up in second place overall, after winning the Final B for a fifth-place finish today. The podium finish by Russia today delighted the local fans and confirmed their third-place rank in the overall classification. Korea was third in today's Relay final.
The skaters will now focus their attention on fine-tuning their preparations for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia (February), and then conclude the season with the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2014 in Montreal, Canada (March 2014). For the European skaters, there is the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2014 in Dresden, Germany, from January 17-19, 2014.