DAY-1 - Results of the finals : slight advantage of Colombia over South Korea
Long-distance races: Colombia: 2 – South Korea : 1
Juniors : 10K eliminations and points races
The finals started with the long-distance races in the junior category.
Junior ladies took part in a 10K eliminations and points race. Although the race was not skated at a breakneck pace, spectators were happy to see successfully many different nations in the front of the pack, trying to go get points one after the other.
European champion, Déborah Marchand (France) tried to escape a few times from the pack without managing to get rid of her opponents such as the strong Fabriana Arias Perez (Columbia), Ga-Ram YAM (South Korea) or even Darian O’Neil (Usa), Giulia Lolobrigida (Italy) and Dina Rodriguez (Portugal).
Besides, this Portuguese was amazing at the end of the race. But, none of those girls were able to make a significant difference at the end of the race.
Although Déborah Marchand escaped one more time from the pack a few laps before the arrival, the last lap seemed to be too much for her, since it is in the final sprint that she lost her chances to win her first world title, crossing the line in fourth position.
Fabriana Arias Perez (11 points) ended up winning the race, followed by Ga-Ram Yu (9 points) and French skater (9 points also).
In the Junior men race, the favorites ended up being almost the same as in the first final of the day. Once again, many different skaters got points although a few of them were eliminated before the arrival. This was notably the case for Stefan Due Schmidt from Denmark who was quite amazing at the middle of the race. But his effort must have been too intense for him since he ended up being eliminated in the 16th position. Nine skaters disputed the final sprint: two Colombians (Boris Pena and Manuel Savedra), two South Koreans (Sang-Cheol Lee and Hong-Rae Jung), one French (Pierre-Yves Péridy), one Italian (Alession Paciolla), one Chilean (Hugo Ramirez Boada), and one Swiss (Livio Wenger).
While Livio Wenger had been very impressive in the ten last laps of the race, winning quite many points, he did his best in the final sprint to make sure that he would be on the podium, having in mind that one Korean and one Columbian had previously gathered lots of points. And the Swiss did it: he became vice-world champion with a total amount of 9 points, and showed very much satisfaction when he crossed the line. Hong-Rae Jung became world champion with 9 points, and Boris Pena completed the podium with 7 points. What a tight race!
10 K elimination Senior ladies
What a crazy race for the Senior ladies! What an unusual scenario! Who would have guessed before the beginning of the race that it would be stopped twice and restarted twice? Things started in an interesting manner since the judges had decided not to call each number on the started line, letting the athletes free to place themselves anywhere on the line… Guess what it was like on the line: it was such a circus !
Anyway, after a first false start (imagine, after the false start was announced, all skaters rushed back to the starting line to have the best place since they could place anywhere…), the pack of skaters could finally took off. Ladies fought a lot in the pack. A spectator even said “that’s derby competition, how stylish”! About 10 laps after the start, a big fall obliged the jury to temporary stop the race, which always irritates the skaters. But a few laps later the new start, another big fall forced the jury to stop the race again! It is hard for the athletes to remain focused on their race under those circumstances! Things went back in order and girls took off again for their 4th start of the race (taking into account the first false start at the beginning)! At midrace, there were no more Koreans in the pack which was a little surprise since Koreans are always considered as favorites. Ladies kept fighting during the race, and 15 laps away from the arrival, they were still two French (Nathalie Barbotin, Justine Halbout), two Columbians (Kelly Martinez, Carolina Upegui), two Chileans (Viviana Rodriguez, Cathy Penan), two Argentines (Yaqueline Arias Maira, Melisa Bonnet), one Chinese (Guo Dan), one Dutch (Manon Kamminga), one Italian (Francesca Lolobrigida) and one Venezuelan (Sindy Cortez), being able to pretend to a medal.
About four laps from the end, French skaters Justine Halbout fell in the corner losing her chances to get her first world medal while she was feeling great. The victory went to Colombian girl, Kelly Martinez, just before Francesca Lollobrigida and the other Colombian, Carolina Upegui.
15 K elimination Senior Men
The men’s race also showed a few surprises : not even 3 laps after the start, world champion, Bart swings (Belgium), one of the favorites, fell with his compatriot Ferre Spruyt and three other skaters (an American, a Chilean and an Argentine) .
Fortunately for him, the Begian star managed to catch the back of the pack within very few laps. Later on during the race, while all skaters were skating among a huge and very large pack, 50 laps away from the arrival, eight skaters fell again (two from Ecuador, two from Chili, one from the USA, one from Germany, one from Japan and one from Australia). Only one of these guys (from Ecuador) succeeded in getting back in the pack. The others had no other choices but to leave the track prematurely. And then, skaters were eliminated quite normally. The performance of the Cuban skater must be underlined, since he was eliminated at midrace, just before a Colombian!
In the final sprint, all skaters were by themselves with no teammates. While Alexis Contin (France) had done a perfect race with his compatriot Ewen Fernandez, he ended up by himself after a careless mistake of Fernandez who was eliminated for not having realized that he was at the end of the pack, a few laps before the arrival. Bart Swings was also by himself, so was it for Fabio Francolini (Italy), Oscar Cobo (Colombia), Gwang Ho Choi (South Korea) and Peter Michael (New-Zealand). Those skaters disputed the title in a very fast sprint. The public was completely crazy, encouraging Francolini, hoping for the second Italian title of the night, but that dream never came true. Indeed, Peter Michael showed that he was the man of the race. He fought until the arrival line and passed the Italian just before the line… What a tragedy for the public… and the Italian skater himself! Bart Swings completed the podium, and Alexis Contin finished fourth.
300m-sprint: Colombia 2 – South Korea 1
The over-classed Italian skater, Linda Rossi (supposed to be cadetten) achieved an incredible performance, winning the gold medal in 26,915, only five thousandth before Magda Yuliana Graces (Colombia) who performed in 26,920 and less than one tenth before Ying-Jung Kuan (China Taipei) who completed her 300M-sprint in 27,117.
The two first places went to two Colombian skaters, Andres Campo (24,839) and Juan Camilo Perez (24,958). Simon Albrecht, from Germany (actually Junior B) succeeded bringing a bronze medal back home!
South Korean girl almost easily won the gold medal with an astonishing time of 26,606. This skater is always impressive to watch since her way of skating always gives you the sensation that she is not doing her maximum… but she always ends up with the best time. The Italian, Giulia Bongiorno, who was still a Junior last year, performed incredibly by getting the silver medal with a better time (26,770) than her compatriot Erica Zanetti (26,992) who only had the fourth time of the final! The bronze medal went to Yi-Seul An (26,928) from South Korea. Performance from Chilean Maria-Jose Moya (27,016) and Mexican Alias Alvarado Vernica Aracelo (27,033), who respectively finished 5th and 6th, must be underlined. However Cecilia Baena’s performance was disappointing since Columbian star finished only 8th in 27,138.
Suspense remained until the very end of the final. Indeed, Spanish skater, Ioseba Fernandez, who qualified for the final with the 8th time, raced his 300M-sprint in 24,774 in the final, which placed him at the first place until Columbian skater, Pedro Causil, clears his first world title hopes with a time of 24,765. Ioseba Fernandes however became vice world champion, and the bronze went to Emanuele S. Silva from Chile.
Statistics per country
The domination of Colombia (Four medals, among which two gold ones) must be stated. South Korea and Italy got two medals each. All other nations in the table got one medal. There was one European on each podium of the 300M-sprint.
Once again, the domination of Colombia (Four medals among which two titles again) must be stated. South Korea and Italy got two medals each again. All other nations in the table got one medal. There was one European on each podium.
300 m Chrono Junior Women
1) Linda Rossi - Italy - 26,915
300 m Chrono Junior Men
1) Andres Campo - Colombia - 24,839
300 m Chrono Senior Women
1) So Yeong Shin - South Korea - 26,606
300 m Chrono Senior Men
1)Pedro Causil - Colombia - 24,765
Junior Women pts/elim
1) Fabriana Arias Perez - Colombia - 11 pts
Junior Men pts/elim
1) Hong Rae Jung - South Korea - 9 pts
Senior Women Elimination
1) Kelly Martinez - Colombia
Senior Men Elimination
1) Peter Michael - Nouvelle-Zélande
D1: 15000 elimination Senior Men
D1: 15000 elimination Senior Women
D1: 10000 m P/E Junior Women
D1: 10000 m P/E Junior Men
D1: 300 m TT Senior Men
D1: 300 m TT Junior Women
D1: 300 m TT Junior Men
D1: 300 m TT Junior Ladies
Photos: Daniel Busser