The relay races took place on Friday afternoon. Due to the great number of entries two rounds have been staged for the four-member teams. The two best of each race and the two best third placed teams have advanced to the next round. In the ladies 3000m heat the World Championship silver medallist Hungarians with Petra Jászapáti, Andrea Keszler, Zsófia Kónya and Bernadett Heidum were in competition for the first place with the World Champion Chinese all through the race. Finally, the Chinese crossed the line first, but due to the chief referee’s judgement they were disqualified for impeding, thus the Hungarians advanced in the first position.
In the men’s 5000m race the British and the American teams kept alternating the lead. Team Hungary with Liu Shaoang, Viktor Knoch, Alex Varnyú and Csaba Burján paid attention to being closely in the heels of the two rivals. The Hungarian squad took the lead in the final lap, and produced a convincing win in their heat.
In the ladies’ quarterfinals there was a change in the composition of the team: Sára Luca Bácskai skated instead of Zsófia Kónya. The Hungarian ladies haven’t disappointed the crowd this time either, and they advanced to the semi-final in the second position behind the winner Canadians.
Bernadett Heidum (HUN)
It was a successful day, I feel, that after the first sudden shock, it went really well. I hadn’t competed for one and a half years after my injury, so yesterday I was really shy. It could be seen as although I didn’t have a tough heat, I ‘managed’ to spoil my skating, but fortunately I gave it all in the relay today, and it really went well. Many teams are at the same level, so basically anyone can make it at the end. The minimum goal is to forward to the final, but I feel that we are in a very good form, we have made a superb team, so anything can happen.
The men have also changed a member: Liu Shaoiln Sándor got in the squad instead of Alex Varnyú. It was either the Chinese or the Hungarian team in the leading position when 20 laps before the finish Csaba Burján fell at the change, and the Hungarians got a half a round disadvantage behind the Chinese, the Kazakh and the French relay teams, who switched to a higher speed. The Hungarians were fighting fiercely, and they gradually got closer and closer to the leading trio. At the finish it was the Hungarian athlete who crossed the line second behind the Chinese one. The four guys produced a fantastic performance in the finish.
Sándor Liu Shaolin (HUN)
We have certainly made the thrill for ourselves, of course this happens in the relay, but I think we’ve tackled the situation the best way possible. There was a slight shift, and I had to catch up with each guy after the fall, and we had to correct those as well. Viktor had less rest, and he could make it, and it was really good, as I myself could rest a bit approaching the end. We had to make up for a big disadvantage, in addition we were at the max since the beginning, so it was really tough. iktor wasn’t 100% after his injury, he missed one round at the end, Ádó doubled a round, so we really acted as a team and helped one another. All in all, we did really well, we could have even won the heat let alone the fall, still, I’m very happy we advanced. We’ve been working extremely lot, so we are satisfied. We’ll see how it goes in the semi-final, but we’ll undoubtedly do our utmost.
Saturday will see the semi-finals unfold where the ladies meet the Korean, Russian, and French teams, while the men will battle with the Dutch, Canadian, Japanese and the Kazakh squads who were advanced due to the referee’s judgement.
Saturday the programme starts at 13:47, and winners will be crowned in the 1500 and 500-metre events. The relay semi-finals come afterwards.
More results at http://shorttrack.sportresult.com/