U.S. men's relay skates to silver in SeoulKorea's Shim, China's Wu win gold in ladies, men's 1,000 meters
Medals in the 1,000 meters and relay events were handed out Sunday at the short track World Cup event in Seoul, Korea.
Suk Hee Shim extended her lead in the World Cup classification in the 1,000-meter distance by earning the top spot on an all-Korean podium. This was Shim's second win in as many weekends. The other two medals were won by Seung-Hi Park (silver) and Alang Kim (bronze). With five skaters at the start line, Jorien Ter Mors of the Netherlands went into an early lead until Shim took over with five laps to go. At that point, the Korean skaters picked up the pace, and that is when Park and Kim moved into podium positions.
In the men's 1,000-meter final, China's Dajing Wu dominated the race from start to finish, earning his second podium finish of the weekend. Throughout the race, Olivier Jean of Canada, Victor An of Russia and Se Yeong Park of Korea took turns being in second place, jostling for position. In the end, it was An who finished second, with Park in third place. The win allowed Wu to close the gap on World Cup distance leader Charles Hamelin of Canada; Hamelin placed just sixth overall at this distance in Korea.
In the ladies 3,000-meter relay final, the same four teams in last weekend's final were back at the start line: Korea, China, Canada and Italy. While all four teams were close together throughout, it was Korea which led the bulk of the race and finished first, just ahead of China. Canada finished third, narrowly edging Italy. The win is Korea's second in as many events, thus extending its lead in the World Cup ranking at this particular distance.
The men's 5,000-meter relay final was marked by several lead changes, with the final and winning change occurring with five laps to go, when Canada took the lead from Great Britain to eventually win the race. The Brits were unable to hold on to second place, as the United States made a pass on the last lap to jump into second overall. The silver-medal finish allowed the United States to hang on to the World Cup lead at the distance.
Eddy Alvarez, who has been battling an on-again, off-again back injury, was pleased with the team's performance.
"Racing felt good, and as a team, I think we accomplished a lot," Alvarez said. "We didn't have four consistent guys out there, and we did this as a team. Come World Cup three and four, we're going to have been together even longer, and we're going to win some more medals."
In other Team USA action, the ladies 3,000-meter relay raced its way to the B final, in which it came in fourth, good for an eighth-place overall finish. Jessica Smith was eliminated in the 1,000-meter quarterfinal, while J.R. Celski advanced to the 1,000-meter semifinal but was eliminated after incurring a penalty in that stage's race.
Information from U.S. Speedskating was used in this report.