European Short Track Speed Skating Championships Torino (ITA) - Preview

- Torino, Italy

St Champs European BoxThe ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships start on Friday January 13, 2017 in Torino (ITA). The European Short Track allround winners will be crowned on Sunday January 15. Unlike the World Cup where skaters race one or two distances and win distance titles, during the European Championships the skaters have to compete over four distances. The allround classification is based on the results of each skater in the three individual distances 500m, 1000m and 1500m. After the completion of the three distances only the top eight point scorers and ties on the eighth position will skate the 3000m Super Final. For the individual distances the final points 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 and 1 are awarded to Final A and Final B Skaters in descending order commencing with the first place in Final A and after all places in Final A have been awarded, the remaining points will be awarded to Final B in descending order starting with first place. In the case of a penalty or did not finish in the Final A, the skater(s) concerned will be awarded a number of points equal to the winner of the Final B. In the case of a penalty in the Final B, the skater(s) concerned will not be awarded any points. No points are awarded to skaters who receive a yellow or red card or did not start the race.

Competition starts on Friday with Ladies and Men 1500, 500, 1000 meters qualification heats and with the Relay Heats. On Saturday will take place the Ladies and Men Semi Finals and Finals over 1500 meters, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals over 500 meters and Semi Finals Relay. Finally on Sunday the Ladies and Men Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals over 1000 meters, Super Finals 3000 meters and Finals Relay Races will be skated.

A new Ladies Champion will be crowned

In the Ladies’ field the reigning European Champion Elise Christie (GBR) will not defend her title in Torino as she decided to concentrate on the World Championships in March. Five time European Champion Arianna Fontana (ITA) will play home advantage to win the title once again. Dutch rising star Suzanne Schulting has been collecting World Cup podium finishes all season long and will look to leave her mark in Torino. Other athletes to look out for are Charlotte Gilmartin (GBR) currently ranks in the 1500 m World Cup Ranking top ten (and second European). Yara van Kerkhof (NED) is seventh (third European) in the 500 m World Cup Ranking, closely followed by Natalia Maliszewska (POL) in eighth. Kateřina Novotná (CZE) and Tatiana Borodulina (RUS) won the European title in 2010 and 2005 respectively and will be competing this weekend.

In the Ladies Relay the main competition is expected to be between Team Italy, Russia, Netherlands and Hungary.

Experience vs. form on the Men’s field

Reigning European Champion Semen Elistratov (RUS) has shown so far this season that he is in good form to revalidate his title. The Liu brothers from Hungary pose the greatest threat as they are really shining on the World Cup circuit. Shaoang Liu (HUN) leads the 1000m distance while Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) sits third on the 500m (first European). Victor An (RUS) will try to get on track to regain the European title just as Sjinkie Knegt (NED).

Other names to keep an eye on include Vladislav Bykanov (ISR) currently seventh in the World Cup 1500m classification and Thibaut Fauconnet (FRA) who has had a good season so far, eighth in the World Cup 1000m classification.

In the Men’s Relay old rivals Russia, Hungary and Netherlands all have strong squads with hopes of standing in the top of the podium.

The schedule for the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships is as follows:

Friday Jan 13: Qualifying Rounds 1500, 500, 1000 meters Ladies & Men
Saturday Jan 14: Semi-Finals & Finals 1500 meters Ladies & Men, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Finals 500 meters Ladies & Men, Semi-Finals 3000 meters Relay Ladies, Semi-Finals 5000 meters Relay Men
Sunday Jan 15: Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Finals 1000 meters Ladies & Men, Super-Finals 3000 meters Ladies & Men, Finals 3000 meters Relay Ladies, Finals 5000 meters Relay Men

For full results of the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017 please refer to /en/short-track-speed-skating/results/201617/isu-european-short-track-speed-skating-championships