MARQUETTE, Mich. – The United States gave its home crowd a good show on Friday (Nov. 13) at the four-day World Cup short track speedskating competition at the Berry Events Center, located on Northern Michigan University’s campus in Marquette, Mich. The event is the final Olympic qualifier for short track skaters to earn spots in various race distances for their nations at the Winter Games.
The United States qualified three men and three women to advance to the 1000-meter heats, which will be skated on Sunday (Nov. 15). Apolo Anton Ohno ranked second in the men’s 1000m standings at 1:25.875, while Katherine Reutter took top honors for the women. She had a fast finish with a time of 1:30.966, falling shy of the world record of 1:29.495.
"Having a 1000m world record is my number one goal,” she said. “I've broken the world record before, but not at an ISU-sanctioned competition. Ever since I did that three years ago, I've been extremely hungry to get it at an ISU event. I wanted to do it at home in the U.S. and in Marquette because I connect here.”
China also qualified three men and women to the semifinals. Other strong performers included Japan and Canada, which advanced three women, and Korea, which qualified three men.
Individually, Canada’s Charles Hamelin finished first in the men’s overall standings at 1:25.708. Si-Bak Sung of Korea ranked third at 1:26.072, from among the 24 athletes who advanced.
On the women’s side, China’s Yang Zhou and Qiuhong Liu took second and third at 1:32.146 and 1:32.229, respectively.
In the women’s 3000m relay, China (4:13.705), Japan (4:16.113), Korea (4:16.930) and the United States (4:18.175) finished their respective quarterfinal heats in first place. Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia also advanced to Sunday’s semifinals.
In the men’s 5000m relay, the United States (6:44.802), Canada (6:44.886) and the Netherlands (6:46.536) all took first in their quarterfinal heats to advance. China, Korea and Germany qualified with second-place finishes while Great Britain and France advanced with fast third-place finishes.
The World Cup competition continues at 2 p.m. Saturday, starting with the 1500-meter semifinals. Athletes will also skate in the 500m.