March 10th, 2007 - DAY TWO

The second day of the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2007 was highlighted by double medal from Canada, with the Canadian skaters wining both the ladies and men titles in the 500m.

Similar to the first day of competition, Saturday program started off in the morning with the skaters going through two rounds of qualification. Again, in both the ladies and men's events, most of the favorites managed to qualify themselves for the evening's competition.

On the ladies side, it was the skaters from Canada and China that looked the strongest, while on the men's side, it was the skaters from Canada and U.S.A. that were looking strong heading into the evening's competition.

The second day of competition resumed in the evening with quarter-finals. In the ladies event, the Canadian and Chinese skaters managed to qualify three and two skaters respectively in the semi-finals, while the Italians were also looking strong, with Arianna Fontana and Marta Capurso advancing to the semi-finals. On the men's side, the Canadians also managed to qualify three skaters, while the Americans and Koreans qualifying two skaters each into the semi-finals.

The ladies 500m final was won by Kalyna Roberge of Canada, who led the entire race. With Ju-Eun Chun and Tian Yu Fu battling for third place, it was up to Arianna Fontana of Italy to challenge Roberge for the win. Fontana never gave up, and closed the gap on the last lap, however it was too little too late, for the Italian skater. Ju-Eun Chun eventually finished third. This result marked two World Championship firsts, with Roberge taking her first individual gold medal and Fontana her first individual podium finish.

The men's 500m final was much highly contested with all five skaters within less than four tenths of a second. Both Canadian skaters in the final, Charles Hamelin and Francois-Louis Tremblay got off to a great start by taking the lead after the first corner. Behind them were two Korean skaters, Hyun-Soo Ahn and Kyung-Taek Song, and Jordan Malone from the U.S.A. Hamelin and Tremblay exchanged lead the entire race while exchanging the leads, with Hamelin finally taking the gold from Tremblay. Ahn eventually rounded up the podium with a third place finish.

The evening concluded with the men's 5000m Relay semi-finals. The teams from Canada, Italy, Korea and U.S.A. qualified for Sunday's finals.

Races resume on Sunday with the ladies and men's 1000m, 3000m and Relay events.


March 9th, 2007 - DAY ONE

The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2007 officially kicked off today at the Agora Skating Rink with the 1500m competition, and the qualifying heats for the Ladies 3000m Relay.

With over 150 athletes, representing 31 countries, the first day of competition started off in the morning with the skaters going through the first rounds of qualifying in the 1500m distance. In both the ladies and men's events, most of the favorites managed to qualify themselves for the evening's competition.

The skaters from Korea and China were definitely on top of their form while the Italian team took advantage of the home crowd encouragements to qualify five of its six skaters for the evening's competition.

In the evening, the competition resumed with the round of semi-finals. On the ladies side, the Koreans dominated the round, with Chun-Sa Byun, Eun-Ju Jung and Sun-Yu Jin wining their respective heats. Tian Yu Fu and Yang Zhou confirmed China's strength, with second places in their respective heats. Qualifying for the final was also American skater, Allison Baver.

On the men's side, two more Koreans advanced to the final, by wining their semi-final heats, Hyun-Soo Ahn and Kuyng-Taek Song. The men from the U.S.A., Apolo Anton Ohno and Jordan Malone, continued their solid performances in the morning's event by finishing second in their respective semi-final heats. The other skaters to qualify for the men's final were Olivier Jean of Canada and Nicola Rodigari from Italy.

The ladies 1500m final was a tightly contested race with the first four skaters finishing within two tenths of each other. The Korean skaters dominated the race from start to finish. Sun-Yu Jin attempted to repeat her win from last year's World Championships in the 1500m, however she was passed on the last lap by her teammate Eun-Ju Jung who took the win in the end. Chun-Sa Byun, also from Korea, finished in third.

In the men's 1500m final, the six skaters got off to a very slow start, which was a sign that this event was going to be a tactical one. With eight laps to go, the pace started to accelerate, and the athletes began jostling for positions. The race was marked by leader changes, passes, and the fall of Hyun-Soo Ahn of Korea and Jordan Malone, U.S.A. In the end, Apolo-Anton Ohno of the U.S.A. took the win, while the Italian Nicola Rodigari pleased the local crowd by finishing second. Despite a fall mid-race, Ahn managed to finish third. Two skaters were disqualified in the race.

The first day of competition concluded with the ladies 3000m Relay semi-finals. The teams from Canada, China, Italy and Korea qualified for Sunday's finals.

Races resume on Saturday with the ladies and men's 500m, and the men's 500m Relay semi-finals.