Speed skating gold and disappointment for South Korea at 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk
There were mixed emotions for South Korea’s speed skating teams on the last day of the Short Track Speed Skating competitions at 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk as they won gold in the men’s relay event but suffered a disqualification in the women’s race.
Japan, Kazakhstan and Russia were up against the South Korean contingent in the Men’s 5000 metre relay final and it was the Japanese and Koreans who led initially. Although the Russian team pulled back in the middle of the race, the Koreans increased the gap at the 22 lap mark to a point of 25 metres.
They even had the comfort of easing down their relentless pace with three laps to go safe in the knowledge the gold medal was theirs. Russia did enough to recover to take silver with Kazakhstan the bronze.
Success for Korea came on the back of picking up four medals – two golds, one silver and one bronze – on Wednesday in the last individual distances of the Short Track Speed Skating programme.
The South Koreans also thought they had secured gold in a dramatic finish to the women’s 3000 metre relay final but they were denied their place on the podium.
Once again the Koreans were joined by Japan, Kazakhstan and Russia in the final and with ten laps to go to Emina Malagich and then Evgeniya Zakharova looked to have broken the Korean lead in the race only for their rivals to take over once again.
However on the last lap, Ekaterina Efremenkova caught up with Korea’s Olympic Champion Kim A-Lang only to suffer a fall short of the finish line as Kim A-Lang openly welcoming the cheering fans.
However, after a video replay of the finish the judges disqualified the South Korean team for Kim A-Lang’s infringement against Efremenkova.
It meant Russia was elevated to gold, with Japan and Kazakhstan earning silver and bronze respectively.
Figure Skating at the 2019 Winter Universiade 2019 opened to packed crowds at the imposing Platinum Arena in Krasnoyarsk with the host nation tasting success in the mixed pairs free skating.
Traditionally one of the highlight events in a winter sports programme, three Russian pairings and one Kazakh pairing took to the ice to perform their free skating routines after the short programmes the day before.
It was perhaps no surprise that the Russian pairings made it to the podium, despite a few stumbles and crashes along the way.
Every pairing had at least one unfortunate fall during their difficult routines and it was the last pair of Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin, who had least points deducted and took gold with a final score of 171.01.
Their fellow compatriots Anastasia Poluianova and Dmitry Sopot took second with a score of 169.99, while Alexandra Koshevaia and Dmitry Bushlanov placed third with 151.78 to make it a clean sweep of medals for the Russians.
The Kazakhstani pair suffered from two nasty falls which ultimately cost them a place on the podium, as they finished fourth with a score of 83.28.
Figure skating continues tomorrow, 8 March, International Women’s Day, with the Ice Dance medal round (free dance) and the women’s singles short programme.
Ekaterina Moshkova extended Russia’s golden run with victory in the women’s biathlon pursuit while Dmitrii Ivanov led Russia to another 1-2-3 result in the men’s event.
Moshkova held off teammate Irina Kazakevich for the second time in two days to land biathlon gold in the women’s 10km pursuit competition.
The pursuit event utilizes a hunting start, as the biathlon sprint winner from the day before starts first, with the rest of the field chasing by an interval determined by how far back they finished the previous race. The first athlete across the finish line wins.
As yesterday’s sprint winner, Moshkova started with a three second advantage over Kazakevich, 25 seconds before Voronina and over a minute ahead of the rest of the field. Kazakevich was 17 seconds behind Moshkova to earn silver, whilst Voronina finished in third a minute and five second behind the leader to complete Russia’s third consecutive clean sweep of the biathlon medals. Natalia Gerbulova, winner of the women’s 15 kilometre individual competition, posted some of the day’s fastest ski times however seven misses on the four trips to the shooting range kept her out of medal contention.
In the men’s 12.5 kilometre pursuit race, Russia’s Dmitrii Ivanov shot a clean 20 out of 20 to earn his first victory at the Winter Universiade.
Ivanov took a 16 second advantage onto the final course lap, a lead he never looked likely to let go of. He finished in a time of 34:10.7, 14.2 seconds in front of silver medallist Nikita Porshnev. Yesterday’s sprint winner Eduard Latypov, with five penalties, finished in third just over a minute back as the Russian Federation’s run of dominance in biathlon continues.
For Ivanov, who finished seventh in Monday’s individual and second in yesterday’s sprint, the gold medal was also one place better than he achieved in this same race in Almaty two years ago.
Germany’s Tobias Mueller produced an impressive performance on Wednesday to win the gold medal in the freestyle skiing slopestyle competition.
In what is arguably one of the creative disciplines of the Winter Universiade, crowds gathered in big numbers to watch the acrobatics on display on the 480-metre-long course which has a height of 138 metres.
From a starting field of 23 men, Mueller’s total of 92 points was enough to earn him the gold from Eliot Gorry of France who took second and silver and Jona Schmidhalter of Switzerland in third with bronze.
The women’s competition was more clear-cut with only six competitors going for gold which ended with Russia claiming a 1-2 podium finish. Lana Prusakova took gold ahead of Anastasiia Tatalina with the silver, and France’s Lou Barin earning the bronze.