ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2014 Preview

- Montreal, Canada

The ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2014 will open in Montreal, Canada on March 14. The World Championships were last held in Montreal in 2002. This time around 122 skaters from 32 ISU members have been entered for the Championships that will take place in a sold out Maurice-Richard Arena.

At the World Championships both allround and single distance titles are up for grabs. The allround classification is based on the results of each skater in the three individual distances 500m, 1000m, 1500m and if qualified the 3000m Super Final. Only the top eight point scorers and ties on the eighth position after the completion of the three first distances will skate the 3000m Super Final. For the individual distances the final points 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 and 1 are awarded in descending order commencing with the first place. No points are awarded to skaters who receive a yellow or red card or failed to finish the race. The winner of the Final race of each individual distance is declared World Champion over that particular distance. Ten World Champion titles will be given out, overall Ladies and Men and in each of the following distances: 500m, 1000m, 1500m Ladies and Men, overall Ladies and Men, Relay Men, Relay Ladies, no award is given for the 3000m Final.

The competition starts on Friday with the Ladies and Men 1500m and with the Ladies 3000m Relay semifinals. On Saturday the Ladies and Men 500m and Men 5000m Relay semifinals will take place and finally on Sunday the Ladies and Men 1000m, the 3000m Super Final and Final Relay will be skated.

Eleven out of thirteen Sochi 2014 individual medalists will be in attendance and race in Montreal as well as every relay team that was on the Olympic podium.

In the Ladies’ field, reigning Overall Champion Meng Wang (CHN) will not participate in the Championships, therefore the 2010 allround Champion and 1000m Olympic Champion Park Seung-Hi (KOR) and 2011 allround Champion Ha-Ri Cho (KOR) will both be aiming to getting their overall title back. Other contenders are teammate Suk Hee Shim (Olympic 1000m bronze and 1500m silver medalist) and five time European Champion and Olympic 500m silver and 1500m bronze medalist Arianna Fontana (ITA). Other skaters to look out for are Olympic 1000m silver medalist Fan Kexin (CHN), 2014 and 2013 European silver medalist Elise Christie (GBR) and 2014 European Champion Jorien ter Mors (NED). The only Olympic medalists not participating in the Championships are Jianrou Li and Yang Zhou from China.

The 2013 reigning World overall Champion Da Woon Sin (KOR) will see tough competition from the most medaled Short Track athlete from the Sochi 2014 Victor An (RUS) who got gold in the 500m, 1000m and Relay race and bronze in the 1500m. Another contender looking to get his revenge is Olympic 1500m Champion and 2013 World overall bronze medalist Charles Hamelin (CAN). Other Olympic medalists looking to climb a podium at the World Championships are Olympic 500m bronze medalist Charle Cournoyer (CAN), Dajing Wu (CHN) 500m Olympic silver medalist, Vladimir Grigorev (RUS) who got the silver in the 1000m, Sjinkie Knegt (NED) 1000m bronze medalist and Tianyu Han (CHN) 1500m silver medalist. Yunjae Kim (KOR) got the 2013 World overall silver medal and is also a strong contender.

The schedule of the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships 2014 is as follows:
Friday, March 14: Heats-1500 meters Ladies/Men, Semi-finals-1500 meters Ladies/Men, Finals-1500 meters Ladies/Men, Semi-finals 3000 meters Relay Ladies
Saturday, March 15: Heats-500 meters Ladies/Men, Quarter-finals-500 meters Ladies/ Men, Semi-finals-500 meters Ladies/ Men, Finals-500 meters Ladies/Men, Semi-finals-5000 meters Relay Men
Sunday, March 16: Heats-1000 meters Ladies/Men, Quarter-finals-1000 meters Ladies/ Men, Semi-finals- 1000 meters Ladies/ Men, Finals-1000 meters Ladies / Men, Super Finals-300 meters Ladies/ Men, Finals- 3000 meters Relay Ladies/ 5000 meters Relay Ladies Men