2014 Speed Skating Worlds: Day 2 on Track
500 m and 1000 m
500 m junior men's: Colombia by a whisker
Edwin Estrada (COL) won by a whisker on the finish line against Johan Guzman (VEN) and formidable Simon Albrecht (GER). Only a few hundredth separated the 3 skaters. One would have expected a shaper race from the German skater, but his title of the previous day must have cost him energy.
500 m junior women's
Colombia didn't take risks and ensured the title. The Colombians did a clever race: Well covered by her team mate Magda Yuliana Garces (COL) who temporised/blocked the other competitors, Yesenia Escobar (COL) flew towards the finish line. She imposed herself in front of Park Min Jeong (KOR) and Yarubi Bandres (VEN).
1000 m senior men's: French double
Colombia and Italy controlled the start of the race. The French came and placed themselves on the outposts. Colombian Munoz took back over. His team mate tried to catch up too but the pack was too compact. The French were in his stream. 300 m from the line, Alexis Contin broke away from the 2nd place and Ewen Fernandez followed him.
Pascal Briand's analysis of the race
"Alexis and Ewen were patient. They perfectly placed themselves. They broke away at the right moment. Munoz did a useless effort that just eased the task for the French. When Alexis launched the sprint, Ewen followed, it was easy, clean, pure. Both have a great technique on top of being physically in peak condition.
It brings back memories. With Thomas Boucher, we did the same double in 2004. We were wearing 5x84 mm. It was exactly 10 years ago!"
1000 m senior women's: Erink Jackson (USA) disqualified
The notable thing of the race occurred in a bend where the pack got denser. American Erin Jackson put her right hand on the hip of the Korean who lost balance and fell. Lots of skaters seem to fall in that bend, at that exact same spot... Would there be a surprise bump there? Anyway, the American caught up on the Colombian.
The disqualification is a little harsh but remains in the mood of the times... there is a thin line between placing your hand and pushing, which is hard to tell on a 1000 m. Bad luck then for Erin Jackson, who seemed to be the strongest on skates.
Final ranking: 1st - Hellen Andrea Montoya (COL) / 2nd - Mareike Thum (GER) / 3rd - Jan Soo-Ji (KOR)
Point and elimination races
Senior Women's 10 km point and elimination race: A South American-Asian fight
The Colombians did a great team work performance during the race, offering the title to Johana Viveros (COL) in front of another South American, Aria Arias (ARG) - 12 points. Argentina was strong but too isolated in that fight. Taipei seized the bronze with Yan Ho-Chen (TPE) - 7 points. The race was tight for the runner-up places with 4 skaters within a 1-point difference! Jenny Paopla Serrano (COL) - 6 points, Jang Soo Ji (KOR) - 6 points, and Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) - 6 points.
Senior Men's 10 km point and elimination race
Suspense until the end! You had to be strong at mental calculation to follow that final. Spanish Paxti Peula (11 points) imposed himself with a 1-point lead in front of Colombian Alex Cujavante (10 points). French Ewen Fernandez completed the podium.
As a reminder, some skaters, like Ewen Fernandez, did the 1000 m and the point and elimination race in a row! Paxti Peula took the points of the two first sprints. A breakaway was formed by two Colombians. Alexis Contin (FRA) reacted and helped Ewen Fernandez (FRA) catch up and get points. Then came a double attack from the Koreans from which Alexis Contin also managed to come back... But it was without taking into account Paxti Peula who broke away 6 laps from the finish line. It took long minutes to the judges to make a decision and announce the winner.
15km Junior Women's elimination race
Sandrine Tas (BEL) showed to be the most incisive in the last hectometers. She took the gold medal to two Colombians, Brayan Garzon (COL) and Fabriana Arias (COL) on the finish line in a hawk fight. Korean Yu Ga Ram (KOR) and Darian O'Neil (USA) remained at the foot of the podium.
Junior Men's 15 km elimination race
Despite the efforts of the Italians, Colombians Manuel Saavedra (COL) and Fabian Valencia (COL) were a cut above the rest, and respectively took the first and second places. Daniel Niero (ITA), 5th, ran for his team mate Giuseppe Cistola (ITA) who finished with the bronze. The Venezuelians took part in the fight but ended up at the foot of the podium, especially Sebastian Paredes (VEN), 4th.
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos: Rafael Chile and Nathalie Planelles