Beijing, China


#ShortTrackSkating #UpAgain

Suzanne Schulting Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©Getty Images 1369926140 

Suzanne Schulting (NED) celebrates winning the Gold medal during the Women's 1000m Final A at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China.© Getty Images

Flying Dutchwoman Suzanne Schulting defended her Olympic title in the 1000m in a dramatic Final. Korea’s Minjeong Choi claimed silver and Hanne Desmet of Belgium earned the bronze.

Schulting (NED) gets gold, sets new world record  

Schulting (NED) not only successfully defended her 2018 Olympic title and won her first gold medal at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, but she also set a new world record of 1:26.514s en route. The Dutch Skater took the lead in the final race early on with Arianna Fontana (ITA) and Kristen Santos (USA) on her heels. It looked like the three of them were deciding the medals between them when Fontana wanted to attack and collided with Santos. Both went down and Choi caught up with Schulting, tussling to the finish.

Desmet (BEL), who trains with Schulting in the Netherlands, got the first Olympic Short Track medal for Belgium.

Hanne Desmet, Suzanne Schulting Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©AFP 1238378509

Hanne Desmet (NEL) and Suzanne Schulting (NED) celebrate after the women's Shorttrack 1000m A-final at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. © AFP

Fontana (ITA) was penalized for a lane change causing contact. Santos (USA) finished fourth.

Schulting looked confident from the quarters on and bettered the ten-year-old world record. The Dutch won the semifinal as well and left no doubt that she was the hot favorite. Santos and Fontana came first and second in the semis and third placed Choi made it through thanks to her time.

"I really wanted it. I am so happy I got it,” Schulting commented. “For the Netherlands, it means a lot. I worked so hard for the whole team. I got the gold, but I got the gold for the whole team, and I am super proud. The quarterfinal first, I skated a world record and I was really excited. And I said, I still have to do the semis and then we have the finals. I had to do two more races. I became really confident out there after skating a world record,” she shared.

Suzanne Schulting Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©Getty Images 1369946715

Suzanne Schulting (NED) celebrates winning the Gold medal during the Women's 1000m Final A at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. © AFP

The 500m Beijing silver medalist expected a tough Final with the strong competitors and knew she had to fight until the very end. “I saw Choi coming and when you see her coming you don’t get scared, but you really have to be aware,” Schulting noted. “She is such a great Skater and I love skating against her. It was a crazy day, a real Short Track day. So happy it’s over now and I have the gold.”

Suzanne Schulting, Minjeong Choi Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©Getty Images 1369947078

Suzanne Schulting (NED) and Minjeong Choi (KOR) compete during the Women's 1000m Final A at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. © Getty Images

It was an emotional moment for Choi, who won two Olympic gold medals in PyeongChang 2018 but struggled with injuries in the past few years. She cried in relief and happiness after crossing the finish line.

“It was a hard training process and I’m very happy I could achieve this result, the silver medal,” the Korean said. “After the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, I have had a lot of hard times. I have trained very hard for these Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. I tried not to be under too much pressure for the result. It seemed like all my hard work paid off and it was quite rewarding,” she explained.

Desmet (BEL) was proud to get that historic Short Track medal – only the second medal for a woman from Belgium at the Olympic Winter Games - and the only other one dates back to 1948, when Micheline Lannoy won gold in Pair Skating (with Pierre Baugniet). “It means a lot for Belgium. We don't get a lot of medals, especially for winter sports. I was the best Short Tracker ever from the country with my fifth place (in the Women's 500m on Monday). And now the bronze, it's pretty cool,“ Desmet shared.

Schulting, Choi, Desmet Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©Getty Images 1369947557

Gold medallist Suzanne Schulting (NED) (C), Silver Medallist Minjeong Choi (KOR) (L) and Bronze medallist Hanne Desmet (BEL) (R) pose during the Women's 1000m Final A flower ceremony at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. © Getty Images

Xandra Velzeboer (NED) won the B-Final.

Stars from China, Hungary, Korea proceed through Men’s 500m Heats   

The top contenders in the Men’s 500m made it safely through the Heats. World Cup leader Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) and his brother Shaoang Liu, World record holder Dajing Wu (CHN), two-time Beijing gold medalist Ziwei Ren (CHN), newly minted 1500m Olympic Champion Daeheon Hwang (KOR), 1500m silver medalist Steven Dubois (CAN) all advanced to the second competition day on Sunday. 

Shaolin Sandor Liu Short Track Beijing 2022 OWG©AFP 1238375224

Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) leads in a heat of the men's 500m short track speed skating event at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China © AFP

Hungary misses out in the Men’s 5000m Relay semis

Hungary, the 2018 Olympic Champions and world record holders, surprisingly did not make it to the A-Final when they placed fourth in their semifinal. Korea and ROC qualified. “We had a little different tactic in the race, but then we had a gap in the 14th or 15th lap and we couldn’t get back,” Shaoang Liu said.

In the other semifinal, Canada and Italy came through while China was advanced to the Final after a click of blades which made Wenlong Li (CHN) fall. As the Chinese were level with Canada, they were advanced.

Competition continues on Sunday with the Men’s 500m Finals and the Women’s 3000m Relay Final at the Beijing Capital Indoor Stadium.