The 2021 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships take place in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, from Friday, March 5 to Sunday, March 7. Following the withdrawal of the powerhouse Republic of Korea and China teams, the Ladies’ competition will be seen by the most recent overall ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Champion, the Netherlands’ Suzanne Schulting, as a golden opportunity to claim a second title.
Schulting claimed her debut overall gold in Sofia, Bulgaria back in 2019, becoming only the second European to win the Ladies’ title, after Elise Christie (GBR) in 2017.
The Dutch skater would have very much fancied her chances of triumphing at the 2020 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Seoul, Republic of Korea, too, but the pandemic put paid to that opportunity.
Suzanne Schulting (NED) at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2021©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Olympic 1000m champion now has the chance to put that right. Schulting is skating on home ice, in form and brimming with confidence.
She enters the competition having just won her third consecutive ISU European Short Track Speed Skating overall title in Gdansk, Poland, and is the clear standout of the continent’s Short Track Speed Skating skaters.
Choi Min Jeong (KOR) at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Republic of Korea’s Choi Min Jeong, a three-time ISU World Short Track Speed Skating champion, her teammates Kim Ji Yoo and Seo Whi Min, and the Chinese racer Han Yutong would probably have been her main rivals.
Canada’s Kim Boutin, the standout racer of 2019/20, has also decided to withdraw and focus on next year’s Olympic season, while Christie’s Great Britain squad have been ruled out due to travel restrictions.
Who, then, can possibly halt Schulting?
Martina Valcepina (ITA) at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2021©International Skating Union (ISU)
Courtney Lee Sarault (CAN) at the ISU Four Conintents Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Arianna Fontana (ITA) and Suzanne Schulting (NED) at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Arianna Fontana of Italy, meanwhile, skipped the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships to concentrate on this competition, and has been training in Hungary to try to find an edge.
As with the Men’s event, the unique circumstances of 2021’s competition represent the ‘X’ factor when it comes to predicting winners.
These athletes have not raced each other in over a year and have had to deal with the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic in different ways. Unexpected results should be expected – and should make the welcome return of international Short Track Speed Skating more exciting than ever.
Where to Watch
Viewers will be able to watch the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel.
All the information is available in the Where to Watch. For further information regarding the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, including the announcement and entry list please visit the dedicated ISU Event Page and listen to The Ice Skating Podcast.
Subscribe to the ISU Newsletter to receive the latest information from the ISU and you can also subscribe to the Skating ISU YouTube Channel to receive notifications when live streams or new videos are published.
Highlights, clips, interviews, behind the scenes:
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