Elistratov elated as Russia start strongest in Utah

Elistratov elated as Russia start strongest in Utah
By Sportsbeat

03/11/2019 at 15:25

PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist Semen Elistratov couldn't hide his delight with 1500m gold, helping Russia top the bill as the first medals were awarded at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA.

The 29-year-old paced the final perfectly and moved steadily through the pack to seal victory, ahead of Korea's Kim Dong Wook and compatriot Alexander Shulginov.

"I'm very happy," Elistratov said. "I spent the summer training with Hungary who are very, very strong.

"So, thank you very much to team Hungary and to team Russia. There's a lot of emotion."

Six-time Olympic champion Victor An marked his return from retirement by anchoring Russia to their second gold of the competition in the mixed gender 2000m relay, as well as claiming a silver in the men's 500m behind Korea's Hwang Dae Heon.

Teammate Sofia Prosvirnova - who skated the third leg of the relay - said: "I don't race the event much so it was really exciting, especially with Victor coming back. I'm glad of the result and very proud of the team."

Elsewhere, Italy's Martina Valcepina stormed to a blistering start and held on to claim women's 500m glory in a final missing world champion Lara van Ruijven, while Canada's Kim Boutin held off a number of challenges to take top spot in the women's 1500m.

Sportsbeat 2019