World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships Innsbruck (AUT) - Friday Qualifications

- Innsbruck, Austria

On the Ladies’ side, the skaters from Korea and China are always the ones to keep an eye. Both countries were successful in having all three of their skaters qualify through today’s rounds of heats. Yu Bin Lee (KOR) was the fastest skater in the 1500 m with her teammate Whi Min Seo ranking fifth. In the 1000 m events, Jinyu Li (CHN) set the fastest time of the day followed by a trip of Korean skaters: Whi Min Seo, Soo Lin Han and Yu Bin Lee ranking second through fourth. Yang Song (CHN) was fifth overall in the same distance. Other skaters to watch who did well today include Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS). She set the fastest time in the 500 m distance, and recently finished second overall at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017 held a couple of weeks ago in Torino, Italy. Petra Jaszapati (HUN) who finished seventh overall at last year’s World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships is looking to improve on that result. She qualified to the next round in each distance, skating the second fastest time in the 500 m and the third fastest time in the 1500 m. Alyson Charles (CAN) is the only other returning female skater who finished in the top ten at last year’s championships. She qualified through the next round in all the distances as well today, with a fourth fastest (500 m) and seventh fastest (1500 m) time.

On the Men’s side, Shaoang Liu (HUN) is the skater to watch. He has the experience of competing at the World Cup circuit level for a few years now, has recently finished fourth in the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017, and is looking to improve on his result from last year’s World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships, where he finished just off the podium in the overall classification. The Korean men are also some of the skaters to keep an eye on this weekend. Won Jun Moon (KOR) set the fastest time in the 1500 m distance as he and his teammates, Si Un Kim and Noh Won Park, qualified through to the next round in all three distances. The skaters from Russia had a strong day as well: Alexander Shulginov and Artem Derkach skated the top-two fastest times in the 1000 m distance. Shulginov added third fastest times in the 1500 m and 500 m distances. The only other top-ten finisher from last year’s championships competing this year is Kazuki Yoshinaga (JPN). He managed to qualify through the next round in each of the distances as well and is looking to improve on his ninth-place overall finish from 2016.    

The championship contenders in the Ladies and Men competition all managed to get through successfully in today’s qualification heats. Unfortunately, in the Ladies relay competition, Korea and Netherlands did not advance to the next round; on the Men’s side, Canada and Hungary did not advance either. Thus, in the Ladies relay semi-finals tomorrow, Russia, China, Canada and Hungary will be joined by Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland and Italy. On the Men’s side, Russia, Korea, Japan and China will be joined by the United States, Netherlands, France and Italy. 

For full results of the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017 please refer to http://shorttrack.sportresult.com

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