ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships Day 3

- Montreal, Canada

The third and final day of the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2014 resumed today in Montreal, Canada with both the ladies and men competing in the 1000m, 3,000m Super Final and relay events. Suk Hee Shim (Korea) was crowned the Lady World Short Track Speed Skating Champion, while Victor An (Russia) earned his sixth title as World Short Track Speed Skating Champion on the men’ side. This was Russia’s first ever short track speed skating championship title.

Shim finished the weekend with 102 points and two gold medals. Seung-Hi Park (Korea) finished second overall, for the second consecutive year, with 73 points. Valerie Maltais (Canada) concluded the weekend in third place overall with 39 points, cheered on by a sold-out home crowd. On the men’s side, Victor An tallied 63 points, while J.R. Celski (United States) finished in second overall with 55 points. Charles Hamelin (Canada) finished in third overall, for a second consecutive year, with 48 points.

Shim’s final push towards the overall championship title began with a win in the 1000m event. She led the better part of the race, with her teammate and current championship leader Park right on her heels. Park crossed the line in second place, which meant both teammates where tied for first place overall entering the super final event. Valerie Maltais moved up in the overall ranking, with a bronze medal winning performance. Elise Christie (Great Britain) finished fourth in the final.

As eight skaters were called to the start line in the ladies 3,000m super final, the championship title came down to whoever between Shim and Park would finish ahead of the other. Jorien Ter Mors (Netherlands) got off to a quick start, hoping to gain the five bonus points granted at the intermediate sprint and managed to lap the pack. However, Maltais responded to Ter Mors, and managed to catch up to win those bonus points. In the meantime, Shim and Park kept a close eye on each other, skating together for the first 20 laps, until Shim began to increase the pace. Shim eventually crossed the line in first place, and secured the championship title. Jessica Smith (United States) finished second, while Maltais finished third in the super final. Seung-Hi Park ended the race in fifth.

Victor An started the day with a win in the 1,000m putting him in the overall lead of the championships heading into the 3,000m super final. Silver medalist in the 1,000m event was Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands), while Se Yeong Park (Korea) was bronze medalist. Hamelin did not manage to qualify for the final, after receiving a penalty in the semi-final; he was ranked ninth in the distance.

As the top eight male skaters entered the 3,000m super final, An had only a two point lead over Hamelin. Dajing Wu (China), Se Yeong Park and Tianyu Han (China) were in contention for the overall title as well. J.R. Celski, who along with Jingnan Shi (China) held a two lap lead on the rest of the pack at one point in the race, crossed the line in first place at the end of the 27 lap place. Shi, who earned the five bonus points, held on to finish in second place. The battle for the overall title was ongoing behind these two skaters, as both An and Hamelin skated close together throughout the race. An moved up the pack with less than five laps to go, and passed Hamelin with three laps left. Despite a last corner attempt to pass by Hamelin, An held onto third place in the race to clinch the overall championship title. Hamelin’s attempt caused him to fall, and he crossed the line in eight place.

These world championships concluded with the relay finals. The ladies 3000 meters relay was won by China, who had battled Korea throughout the entire race. Korea had crossed the line first, however was given a penalty for interference on the Chinese team. Canada earned a silver medal, while Italy, who had fallen behind the leaders just after the midway point, earned a bronze. This is China’s fourth consecutive title of Ladies World Short Track Speed Skating Relay Champion. In the men 5000 meters relay final, all four team exchanged the lead throughout the race, and it was anyone’s race, entering the last lap. The team from the Netherlands held onto first, with Korea finishing in second. Despite a fall coming out of the last corner, Great Britain crossed the line in third place, to beat out Russia for bronze. Netherlands were crowned World Short Track Speed Skating Relay Champion title.