ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championship Erzurum

- Erzurum, Turkey

Do Hee Noh and Munhyeon Lee, both from Korea, were crowned Ladies and Men’s 2014 ISU World Junior Short Track champions. This is Noh’s second consecutive Junior World Championship title.

1500m The weekend began with the 1500m events. In the Ladies competition, Do Hee Noh (Korea) started her quest for a second consecutive World Junior Short Track Championship title by winning the event. In fact, it was an all-Korean podium in the Ladies final, with team-mates Minjeong Choi and Se Jung Ahn earning second and third place. On the Men’s side, the Korean domination continued with Hyo Been Lee crossing the line ahead of Munhyeon Lee to finish first and second. Third place went to Ziwei Ren (CHN). Day One concluded with both Noh and Lee leading their respective championship standings with 34 points each.

500m In the ladies 500m, Sofia Prosvirnova of Russia not only took the win in the final, but broke the junior world record at the same time. The previous record was set by Marianne St-Gelais (CAN) in January 2010 during the that year’s ISU World Junior Short Track Championships. Yutong Han (CHN) earned the silver medal while Se Jung Ahn finished in third for a bronze medal. Noh’s fourth place finish in the event meant she led the championship standings at the end of Day Two with 42 points. The remainder of the top five comprised Prosvirnova (34 points), Han (29 points), Ahn (26 points) and Choi (21 points).

In the Men’s 500m event Sandor Liu Shaolin (HUN) crossed the line in first place, with a pass on the last lap, to earn the gold medal. Samuel Girard of Canada was second, while Denis Nikisha of Kazakhstan was third. At the end of Day Two, Liu Shaolin was leading the Men’s championship standings with 42 points, with a win and a fourth-place finish under his belt. The rest of the top five was completed by Hyo Been Lee (34 points), Munhyeon Lee and Girard each with 21 points, and Nikisha and Ren with 13 points apiece. 1000m The last day of the weekend began with the 1000m events. In the Ladies competition, it was yet another podium sweep for Korea. The gold medal winner was Minjeong Choi this time, with Se Jung Ahn in second and classification leader Noh in third. The win allowed Choi to pull level with Noh in the championship lead, entering the last event with 55 points. Ahn was in third place overall, only eight points behind the leaders.

In the Men’s event, Hyo Been Lee (KOR) took his second gold medal of the weekend, winning ahead of team-mate Munhyeon Lee. Overall leader Sandor Liu Shaolin finished in third place, the same placing for this distance at last year’s championships. Meanwhile a second win of the weekend allowed Hyo Been Lee to move into the championship lead with 68 points approaching the last individual event. Liu Shaolin sat in second (55 points), while Munhyeon Lee was in third (42 points). Super Final – 1500m Entering the final race of the weekend, both the Ladies and Men’s titles were still up for grabs. Do Hee Noh won her second gold medal of weekend, which was more than she needed to clinch the overall title with 89 points. Second place finisher was Se Jung Ahn ended up second overall and Minjeong Choi finished third to equal Ahn’s 68 point tally in the overall rankings. This was the third podium sweep of the weekend by the Koreans in the Ladies competition.

In the men’s event, Munhyeon Lee clinched the overall title by just five points by finishing first in the 1500m Super Final. In fact only eight points separated the top three overall. Munhyeon Lee’s team-mate, Hyo Been Lee, was sixth in the Super Final, finishing in second place overall with 71 points. Samuel Girard crossed the line in the final individual event in second place, allowing him to maintain his fourth place overall. Sandor Liu Shaolin’s third place finish in the Super Final consolidated his third place in the overall championship ranking.

Relay The weekend’s racing concluded with 3000m relay events. The Korean women continued to showcase their strength by finishing first in the Ladies event. Canada finished in second, while China were third. Russia, who were in contention for a medal and potentially even the gold, received a penalty at the end of the race.

In the Men’s event in came down to a very close finish with China narrowly edging out Hungary at the line. The team from Japan finished in third.