Seoul hosts Short Track Speed Skating World Cup this week

December 17, 2014
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Seoul will host the fourth leg of the International Skating Union Short Track Speed Skating World Cup this week.

The three-day competition will open with heats Friday at Mokdong Ice Rink. There will be five races for the men: the 500 meters, 1,000m, 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m relay. The female skaters will also compete in five races: the 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, 3,000m and 3,000m relay.

All the finals are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

On the men’s side, South Korea captured two gold medals in the first leg in Salt Lake City, Utah, three more in the next stop in Montreal and then added three titles in the third leg in Shanghai.

The women have been just as successful. They won three races in Salt Lake City, three more in Montreal and then two events in Shanghai.

Individually, Sin Da-woon leads all South Korean men with three individual gold medals and has led the relay team to two titles. Shim Suk-hee, a triple medalist at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2014 world champ, has also picked up three individual titles and has been a part of two of South Korea’s three gold medal-winning relay teams.

Shim, only 17 herself, will have to fend off her 16-year-old teammate Choi Min-jeong to retain supremacy in the women’s short track.

Choi made the senior national team for the first time this season and has made a quick impression in her World Cup debut. She has been a part of all three victorious relay teams and also collected two individual titles. In the 1,000m final at the third World Cup in Shanghai last week, Choi beat Shim by about half a second for the gold.

Medalists from the Sochi Winter Games will take the ice in Seoul this week, including Charles Hamelin of Canada, the men’s 1,500m champion, and Fan Kexin of China, who claimed silver in the women’s 1,000m in Sochi.

Conspicuous by his absence will be Viktor Ahn, the Korean-born star who swept up three gold medals while competing under the Russian flag. Ahn is skipping this week to honor his prior commitments to a Russian event. He also sat out last year’s World Cup in Shanghai.

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