2014 Speed Skating Worlds: First day on road
The 200 m races on road
The qualifications of the 200 m took place in the morning and the finals at 3PM local time.
Junior Women's 200 m: Colombian Double
Colombian Yesenia Escobar (18.734) imposed herself in front of her team mate Andrea Canon (18.748). The two skaters were close, with only 14 thousands between them! It shows the homogeneity of the Colombian level. Italian Daria Tiberto completed the podium (19.408). Yarubi Bandres (VEN, 19.418) ranked 4th.
Junior Men's 200 m
Simon "Boom Boom" Albrecht stroke again with quite an easy win in 16.722, in front of French Benjamin Soulet (17.241). The 3rd place went to Colombian Edwin Estrada who had to make do with bronze. Albrecht is really a cut above the rest.
Senior Women's 200 m
To the greatest surprise of a good number of observers and prognosticators, a Chilean skater outwitted the favorite Colombian in final! Maria Jose Moya Sepulveda (CHL, 18.542) imposed herself in front of Yersi Puello (18.610) and Ingrid Factos (ECU, 18.637).
Yersi Puello lost a few hundredths compared to the qualifications.
7 skaters held in 3 tenths only.
Senior Men's 200 m
Colombia stroke again with Pedro Causil in 16.550. The Colombian managed to beat the king of distance, Spanish Ioseba Fernandez (16.678). The two skaters managed to improve their times compared to their series. Darren de Souza (FRA, 16.932) also went one place up. You had to be under the 17 seconds to hope being on the podium.
Junior Women's point race: Asian double
The junior women's point race proved to be very open. Only two point separate the Top-3! Liu Yi Huuan (TPE, 11 points) won in front of another formidable Asian skater, Korean Yu Ga Ram (10 points). Belgian Sandrine Taz got the bronze with 9 points, in front of Taiwanese Chang Chia-Tzu (8 points). The first South American, Fabriana Arias (COL, 7 point) finished at the 5th place.
Just like the previous years, South America is a bit in the background as for distance races on road.
1. Liu Yi Huuan (TPE, 11 points)
2. Yu Ga Ram (COR, 10 points)
3. Sandrine Taz (BEL, 9 points)
4. Chang Chia-Tzu (TPE, 8 points)
5. Fabriana Arias (COL, 7 points)
6. Darian O'Neil (USA, 6 points)
7. Déborah Marchand (FRA, 6 points)
8. Luz Garzon (COL, 5 points)
Junior Men's point race: A new title for France
At the start of the race, all nations went and got their points, one by one. Ollie Jones was particularly active for New Zealand, just like Quentin Giraudeau for France.
7 laps from the arrival, South Korea made a breakthrough, leaving a group of followers about 50 meters behind. Ollie Jones broke away too, 3 laps from the end. Chinese Taipei chased him. The Netherlands counter attacked late with Chris Huizinga and got 3 points on the finish line... But Quentin Giraudeau got the more points and won the 3rd world title for France! There again, the judges needed time to check their rankings.
1. Quentin Giraudeau (FRA, 12 points)
2. Ollie Jones (NZL, 11 points)
3. Byeong Kwan Jeong (KOR, 9 points)
4. Daniel Niero (ITA, 7 points)
5. Sebastian Paredes (VEN, 7 points)
6. Chris Huizinga (NED, 4 points)
7. Stefano Mareshi (ITA, 4 points)
8. Thimothy Loubineaud (FRA, 4 points)
Senior Women's elimination race
The pack remained together the whole race. Sindy Cortez (Venezuela) was eliminated 4 laps from the arrival. Argentina, Chinese Taipei and Italy with two units, Colombia with two skaters, and French Justine Halbout were still in the running. The latter put all her energy in the final sprint but was eliminated 2 laps from the arrival. The last lap saw Colombia trying to catch up but Italy was controlling the race, helped by Chinese Taipei. Argentina speeded up but was passed by one wheel on the finish line by Chinese Taipei.
1. Ho Chen Yan (TPE)
2. Maira Arias (ARG)
3. Paola Serrano (COL)
4. Carolina Upegui (COL)
5. Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA)
6. Lee Seul (KOR)
Senior Men's elimination race
The men's pack was dense. Two skaters were eliminated every two laps, then only one from the 20th lap on.
In the lead, you could find the nations used to feature on the podiums. French Alexis Contin and Ewen Fernandez were skating wheel in wheel, Colombia was there too, represented by Alex Cujavante, as well as Germany with Felix Rijhnen and Spain with Paxti Peula.
The French made the choice of leading the race rather than being subjected to it. 10 laps from the arrival, everybody replaced themselves and there was commotion happening between Germany and Argentina.
Mike Paez exited 8 laps from the end. The young senior will have made a great race, he has improved a lot this year. Ken Kudawa was eliminated 6 laps from the end, Peter Michael two laps later. That made one less big name in the running! Two laps from the end, it was Félix Rijhnen's turn to be eliminated.
Alexis Contin tried to break away but he was caught back up. Ewen Fernandez was leading the pack and watching the back. He launched a sprint and shot off. Ewen seized the title with a wide gap. 4th title for the French!
1. Ewen Fernandez (FRA)
2. Paxti Peula
5. Alexis Contin
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Photos: Rafael Leyton and organisation