Wu Dajing (CHN) proved that he remains the man to beat over speed skating’s shortest and wildest distance. Wu’s time during the Men’s 500m on Saturday of 39.836 seconds may have been comfortably inside the world record of 39.584 he set when winning gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in February, but he still had far too much for Shaoang Liu (HUN) and Kim Gun Woo (KOR), who trailed in behind to take silver and bronze respectively. Wu then went on to win Sunday’s 500m sprint and the first mixed relay as China won Gold.
Team China assert their dominance in the mixed gender relay in Calgary pic.twitter.com/lEdY8Fo8Q9— ISU Speed Skating (@ISU_Speed) November 4, 2018
In the men’s 1500m, 19-year-old Kazuki Yoshinaga (JPN) enjoyed the biggest triumph of his young career, claiming his first ever World Cup title ahead of June Seo Lee (KOR) and Vladislav Bykanov(ISR).
Yoshinaga was the beneficiary of a series of dramatic upsets that blew the competition wide open, with the experienced Korean Hwang Dae Heon crashing out in the final, and PyeongChang 2018 silver medalist Sjinkie Knegt (NED) suffering a similar fate in the semi-final.
Samuel Girard (CAN) won the men’s 1500m B final, while Liu’s brother, Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) won the men’s 500m (1) B final.
The Liu brothers then experienced a highly successful Sunday. Shaoang clinched gold in the men’s 1000m final, while, Shaolin clinched bronze behind Olympic champion Wu Dajing (CHN) and Abzal Azhgaliyev (KAZ).
But more importantly, they managed to bring the event to a sensational conclusion, inspiring Olympic champions Hungary to a new world record of 6:28.625 in the final of the men’s 5000m relay. For both Liu brothers, the record came as a particular shock, as for most of the race they were fighting tooth and nail for the lead with Korea and Netherlands, who took silver and bronze.
Pure emotion from Shaolin Liu after Hungary's Men win a thrilling 5000m relay pic.twitter.com/JKmEb2Zg5B— ISU Speed Skating (@ISU_Speed) November 4, 2018
Olympic champion Suzanne Schulting (NED) spearheaded a dominant performance by the Dutch women’s team, which collected two golds and a silver on the final day of the ISU Short Track World Cup at the Calgary Olympic Oval.
While Schulting won Saturday’s 1500m final by a mere hair’s breadth from Courtney Lee Sarault (CAN), she showed her class in Sunday’s 1000m final, leaving the rest of the field chasing thin air as she finished more than a second ahead of Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS) and Veronique Pierron (FRA).
It was an easy skate to victory for Holland's Suzanne Schulting in the Ladies' 1000m Final. pic.twitter.com/gxHKyKRJT5— ISU Speed Skating (@ISU_Speed) November 4, 2018
Schulting later collected her third medal of the weekend as the Netherlands claimed silver behind China in the mixed relay.
But while Schulting’s success went with the form book, Lara van Ruijven’s (NED) triumph in Sunday’s women’s 500m sprint came as a big surprise.
Saturday’s women’s 500m sprint champion Natalia Maliszewska (POL), who had won in front of Yara van Kerkhof (NED) and Alyson Charles (CAN), had qualified comfortably for Sunday’s 500m final, winning her quarter-final and semi-final races, but ran out of steam, finishing fourth.
However, the biggest surprise of all was the performance of reigning world 500m champion Choi Min Jeong (KOR), who went out in the quarter-finals, blaming a lack of fitness. Choi would later pick up a silver medal as part of the Korean team in the women’s 3000m relay, behind champions Russia.
Petra Jaszapati (HUN) won gold in the women’s 500m (1) B final, while Jinyu Li (CHN) proved victorious in the women’s 1500m B final.
But for the local fans at the Calgary Olympic Oval, the abiding memory of the weekend will be the performances of the next generation of Canadian skaters. Alyson Charles (CAN) finished with three medals from her first World Cup after coming third behind van Ruijven in the 500m and picking up another bronze for Team Canada in the women’s 3000m relay.