The AUDI ISU Olympic Qualifier World Cup Short Track commenced with the Ladies 1500m semi-finals. Only the first two of each round could advance to the final A. Petra Jászapáti lined up in the first semi-final. The two Canadians immediately took the leading positions and took good care of not letting anybody overtake them. It seemed to be good tactics. They were followed by Lina Gehring from the USA, and the Hungarian athlete. The American fell, thus confusing the Hungarian, so much so that she only finished in the 7th position. The chief referee judged that Gehring’s falling impeded the Hungarian athlete’s race, so she was disqualified, while Jászapáti was forwarded to the B final.
In the Ladies B Final Petra Jászapáti was skating in the fourth position in the first laps, but later she was forced one place behind. As they entered the finishing straight Efremenkova, who had been in the fourth position until that point crashed Gilmartin from Great Britain, so Jászapáti crossed tle line third, which ranked her ninth overall.
Petra Jászapáti (HUN)
I got really exhausted, and my legs got really acidified by the end, in spite of it I felt it was all right, and I managed to carry out really good things at the beginning of the race, when I wasn’t that tired. I couldn’t always fulfil what we had planned previously, but this is it, every lap is different, so it’s quite difficult to plan in advance, but I skated quite well. Before the tournament I aimed at the first twenty places, and thought that it would be nice to compete in the B Final, and I made it, so I’m satisfied.
In the A Final, similarly to the semi-finals the two Canadians hoped to defend the first two positions, however they couldn’t do it in the finish. Boutin, who was leading the pack were attacked from both sides by the two Koreans who overcame her finally. Five-time World Champion Choi Min Jong triumphed, her compatriot, the Olympic Champion Shim Suk Hee crossed the line second, while Boutin from Canada took the third place. After having checked the video recording Shim was disqualified, thus the Canadian advanced one place, and Deanna Lockett from Australia, who had been training with the Hungarians in the days preceding the World Cup, was ranked third finally.
In the first heat of the men’s race the field were advancing in a pack, when the two Americans crashed their legs and bumped into the mat, not so much later Yokoyama from Japan slided out from the second position too and grabbed with himself the Canadian Girard. Liu Shaoang was wise to keep himself out of all the crashes and advanced to the final in the second place behind Korean Lim Hyo Jun.
In the third heat there was an all-star gala: the majority of the seven entrants were already Olympic or World Championship medallists. Olympic Champion from Canada, Charles Hamelin lead the field, he being soon joined by his compatriot Charle Cournoyer. The rest tried to overtake the two Canadians. Liu Shaolin Sándor made use of this confusion and took the lead, not letting anybody to overcome him in the last two laps, so with his semi-final win he followed his brother to the final. Later the two Canadians were disqualified, and Knegt –placed second, from the Netherlands was joined by two Asian skaters in the final.
Eight skaters lined up in the 1500m final: three Koreans, two Hungarians and a French a Chinese and a Dutch. The field were pulsing from start to finish alternating in the leading position. Liu Shaoang was skating in the first position for a while. In the finish there was a great scramble for the podium places, so much so that even the younger Liu brother was thrusted out, who fell. Two Korean skaters finished in the front: Lin Hyu Yun and the World Record holder Hwang Dae Heon. Knegt from the Netherlands grabbed the third place. Two athletes: Sándor Liu Shaolin from Hungary and Fauconnet from France were disqualified. Liu Shaoang took the sixth position, while his brother was ranked seventh.
Ádó Liu Shaoang
The semi-final wasn’t really challenging; four skaters fell, I advanced easily. In the final the French skater pushed me out, if it hadn’t happened, I could have even had a chance to slide in. We are preparing for the relay and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the others in 500m. Yesterday I fell in this distance, so anything can happen, it’s not unusual in this discipline.