Osaka (Japan)

The ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2015 concluded today with the crowning of this year’s individual and team champions. Sangjeong Kong (KOR) was crowned the Lady 2015 ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Champion, while Dagyeom Kim (KOR) took the championship title on the men’s side. In the team events, the relay champions for both the ladies and men’s competition were Korea.

Korean domination in the 1000 m events

Korea concluded these championships by adding more medals to its tally: it began the day with sweep of the podium in the Ladies 1000 m event. Jiyoo Kim (KOR) earned a gold medal in the event by finishing ahead of her two teammates Sangjeong Kong and Hakyung Son, who finished in second and third place. Kong led most of the race, until Kim passed her on the last lap. Yize Zang (CHN) was awarded a penalty and finished in fourth place.

In the Men’s 1000 m final, Dagyeom Kim (KOR) earned his second gold medal of these championships by winning the event. Dagyeom Kim raced from the front for almost the entire race and had to manage the pressure from the two Chinese skaters behind him. Ziwei Ren (CHN) finished in second place, while his teammate Wei Ma was third. Dan Isawa of Japan finished in fourth place. 

Korea repeats the podium sweep in the Ladies 1500 m Super Final

In the ladies 1500 m Super Final event, the top three finishers were exactly the same three Korean skaters who had swept the podium earlier in the day in the ladies 1000 m. The Super Final was critical in determining the overall championship winner, as the top three positions were still up for grabs. Jiyoo Kim (KOR) was the first one to cross the finish line at the end of the thirteen and a half lap race; this was her second individual win of the day. Championship leader, Sangjeong Kong (KOR) finished the race in second place, and secured her championships title at that point. Hakyung Son (KOR) earned a bronze medal.

In the Men’s 1500 m Super Final, Jiwon Park (KOR) took the lead with five laps to go, and never looked back to claim the win. Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN) was a very close second: his last three laps were faster than Park’s, and Liu had moved from third to second place in that time. Dagyeom Kim (KOR), who was the championship leader entering the final event, needed only two points to clinch the title. He did much better and finished in third place in the Super Final to earn the championship title.

The final overall classification in the Ladies competition is as follows: Sangjeong Kong (78 points), Jiyoo Kim (68 points) and Hakyung Son (68 points). In the Men’s competition, the top-three finishers in the overall classification are: Dagyeom Kim (81 points), Jiwon Park (69 points), and Sandor Liu Shaolin (42 points).

Korea continues domination in both the relay events

Korea finished first in the Ladies 3000 m Relay final, crossing the line ahead of Russia. Japan pleased their fans with a bronze medal finish, crossing the line well ahead of Canada. In the Men’s 3000 m Relay final, Korea claimed the World Junior championship title; Korea passed China with one lap to go and crossed the line in first place. China finished in second place, while Russia crossed the line in third place.

The next ISU Short Track Speed Skating event is the ISU World Speed Skating Championships 2015 in Moscow, Russia from March 13-15, 2015.