2014 medal projections: Short-track speedskating

Updated Jan. 21 with Wang Meng injury

Short-track is a little less about times and more about who makes the last pass and remains upright. World Championships actually compile “overall” results that reward consistency. No such luck in the Olympics, so these predictions are bound to go wrong somewhere. We predictors can’t take it personally.

The action is often controversial, with a lot of collisions and interference requiring refs to figure things out. And for the USA, it has been controversial off the ice.

The World Cup runs in the fall, so as with long-track skating, we have a lot of recent data to use.

Around we go, very quickly …

MEN

500 meters

Gold: Viktor Ahn (Russia)
Silver: Charles Hamelin (Canada)
Bronze: Wu Dajing (China)

Also considered: Liang Wenhao (China), Seyeong Park (South Korea), Freek van der Wart (Netherlands)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Ahn, Hamelin, Vladimir Gregorev (Russia), Wu, Olivier Jean (Canada), Park, van der Wart, Liang

2013 World Championship top 4: Liang, Ahn, van der Wart, Semion Elistratov (Russia). Semifinalists: Jin-Kyu Noh (South Korea), Wu, Viktor Knoch (Hungary), J.R. Celski (USA), Jon Eley (Britain)

2010 Olympic medalists: Hamelin, Si-Bak Sung (South Korea), Francois-Louis Tremblay (Canada)

1,000 meters

Gold: Charles Hamelin (Canada)
Silver: Viktor Ahn (Russia)
Bronze: J.R. Celski (USA)

Also considered: Wu Dajing (China), Da-Woon Sin (South Korea)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Hamelin, Ahn, Niels Kerstholt (Netherlands), Wu Dajing (China), Han Tianyu (China), Olivier Jean (Canada), Celski, Han-Bin Lee (South Korea)

2013 World Championship top 4: Sin, Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands), Hamelin, Celski. Semifinalists: Ahn, Yuzo Takamido (Japan), Jin-Kyu Noh (South Korea), Michael Gilday (Canada), Semion Elistratov (Russia), Vladimir Grigorev (Russia)

2010 Olympic medalists: Jung-Su Lee (South Korea), So-Huk Lee (South Korea), Apolo Ohno (USA)

1,500 meters

Gold: Da-Woon Sin (South Korea)
Silver: Yun-Jae Kim (South Korea)
Bronze: Charles Hamelin (Canada)

Also considered: Viktor Ahn (Russia), J.R. Celski (USA), anyone else from South Korea

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Hamelin, Han-Bin Lee (South Korea), Ahn, Jin-Kyu Noh (South Korea), Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands), Francois Hamelin (Canada), Celski, Sin

2013 World Championship top 6: Sin, Yun-Jae Kim (South Korea), Hamelin, Ryosuke Sakazume (Japan), Michael Gilday (Canada), Noh

2010 Olympic medalists: Jung-Su Lee (South Korea), Apolo Ohno (USA), J.R. Celski (USA)

Relay

Gold: Canada
Silver: Russia
Bronze: South Korea

Also considered: Netherlands, USA

Also qualified: China, Kazakhstan, Italy

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: USA, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Netherlands, China, Italy, Britain

2013 World Championship top 4: Canada, Russia, Netherlands, South Korea

2010 Olympic medalists: Canada, South Korea, USA

WOMEN

500 meters

Gold: Fan Kexin (China)
Silver: Seung-Hi Park (South Korea)
Bronze: Arianna Fontana (Italy)

Also considered: Marianne St. Gelais (Canada), Suk Hee Shim (South Korea), Martina Valcepina (Italy). Removed for injury: Wang Meng (China)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Wang, Fan, Fontana, Park, Shim, Valcepina, St. Gelais, Liu Qiuhong (China)

2013 World Championship top 4: Wang, Fan, Park, St. Gelais. Semifinalists: Valcepina, Valerie Maltais (Canada), Fontana, Elise Christie (Britain)

2010 Olympic medalists: Wang, St. Gelais, Fontana

1,000 meters

Gold: Suk Hee Shim (South Korea)
Silver: A-Lang Kim (South Korea)
Bronze: Arianna Fontana (Italy)

Also considered: Seung-Hi Park (South Korea), Jorien ter Mors (Netherlands), Wang Meng (China)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Shim, Kim, Fontana, Park, Li Jianrou (China), Elise Christie (Britain), Valerie Maltais (Canada), ter Mors

2013 World Championship top 5: Wang, ter Mors, Christie, Fan Kexin (China), Zhou Yang (China). Semifinalists: Yui Sakai (Japan), Shim, Bernadett Heidum (Hungary), Fan Kexin (China), Park

2010 Olympic medalists: Wang, Katherine Reutter (USA), Park

1,500 meters

Gold: Suk Hee Shim (South Korea)
Silver: Seung-Hi Park (South Korea)
Bronze: Marianne St. Gelais (Canada)

Also considered: A-Lang Kim (South Korea), Valerie Maltais (Canada), Zhou Yang (China)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Shim, Kim, Zhou, Maltais, Park, Arianna Fontana (Italy), Jorien ter Mors (Netherlands), Bernadett Heidum (Hungary)

2013 World Championship top 7: Park, Shim, St. Gelais, Ayuko Ito (Japan), Maltais, Elise Christie (Britain), Zhou

2010 Olympic medalists: Zhou, Eun-Byul Lee (South Korea), Park

Relay

Gold: China
Silver: South Korea
Bronze: Canada

Also considered: Italy, Netherlands, Russia

Also qualified: Hungary, Japan

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: South Korea, China, Italy, Canada, Russia, Netherlands, Japan, USA

2013 World Championship top 4: China, Canada, Japan, South Korea

2010 Olympic medalists: China, Canada, USA

BIOS

Men

Viktor Ahn (Russia): Competed for South Korea as Hyun-Soo Ahn. 2006 gold medalist in 1,000 and 1,500. Overall world champion five straight years (2003-2007). Nasty injuries kept him out in 2010. Back in form with silver in 500 at 2013 Worlds and World Cup success at same distance. Typically makes late pass to win.

J.R. Celski (USA): Olympic bronze medalist (2010, 1,500) has had other big performances — second overall in 2009 World Championships at age 18. He also has some solid World Cup performances since then.

Wu Dajing (China): Not yet 20 and already winning World Cup races. Best at 500.

Semion Elistratov (Russia): Had an unusually good World Championship in 2013, making the 500 final and a couple of semifinals. Has one World Cup win and a couple of podiums.

Vladimir Gregorev (Russia): Suddenly breaking onto World Cup podiums after several years of struggle.

Charles Hamelin (Canada): 2010: Won gold in 500, ending a long spell of Olympic frustration after winning a couple of world championships (also at 500) and having tons of podium finishes through his career. Long-term relationship with skater Marianne St. Gelais.

Olivier Jean (Canada): Victim of Simon Cho’s skate-sabotaging at the 2011 World Team Championships. Came back with strong 2012 World Championship — gold in 500, bronze overall. Fourth in 2010 Olympics (1,500).

Yun-Jae Kim (South Korea): 2013 World Championship runner-up (overall and 1,500). Two other World Cup podiums, both at 1,500.

Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands): Best World Championship finish was second in 2012 (1,000). Overall European champion in 2012. Four World Cup podiums.

Jin-Kyu Noh (South Korea): 2011 overall world champion (at age 18), winning 1,000 and 1,500. Second in 2012 overall, winning 1,500. Not as strong in 2013 World Championships but had some good results in the next World Cup season.

Seyeong Park (South Korea): 2013 world junior champion. Reached podium in two World Cup races in Seoul (500 and 1,000).

Da-Woon Sin (South Korea): 2013 overall world champion (at age 19), winning 1,000 and 1,500. World Cup podiums are all at 1,500.

Han Tianyu (China): 2013 world junior runner-up.

Freek van der Wart (Netherlands): Good year in 2013: European overall champion, third in 500 at World Championships. Only one World Cup podium, in 500.

Liang Wenhao (China): Scattered World Championship successes, winning 500 in 2010 and 2013. In 2011: third in 500, 1,000 and overall. Three 2012-13 wins: two at 500, one at 1,000.

Women

Elise Christie (Britain): Races as a front-runner in the 1,000, an unusual tactic in the cagey world of short-track. Last four world championships at 1,000: fourth, fourth, fourth, third.

Arianna Fontana (Italy): Only 15 when she medaled in relay on home ice at 2006 Olympics. Took bronze at 500 in 2010. Overall European champion in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 (second in 2010). Third in World Championships in 2011 and 2012.

Fan Kexin (China): Strongest at 500, with a few World Cup wins and the 2011 and 2012 world championships.

A-Lang Kim (South Korea): Second in 2013 world junior championships. Terrific 2013-14 World Cup season at 1,000 and 1,500.

Valerie Maltais (Canada): Second overall (third in 1,000) at 2012 World Championships. Lone World Cup win is at 1,000.

Wang Meng (China): 2006 Olympics: Gold (500), silver (1,000), bronze (1,500). 2010 Olympics: gold in 500 and 1,000 (plus relay gold). Even better at World Championships: sweep in 2008, 500/1,000/overall in 2009, 500/1,000 in 2010, 500/1,000/overall in 2013. Fan of David Beckham and Michael Jordan. Removed from national team in 2011 after confrontation with coaches but reinstated in 2012.

Seung-Hi Park (South Korea): In 2010: bronze medals at 1,000 and 1,500, overall world championship, turned 18. 2013: world champion in 1,500.

Suk Hee Shim (South Korea): 2012 world junior champion. At 2013 World Championships: second in 1,500, third overall. 2013-14 World Cup winner at 1,000 and 1,500.

Marianne St. Gelais (Canada): Silver medal at 500 and relay in 2010. Also celebrated boyfriend Charles Hamelin’s gold medal. Took third at 1,500 in 2013 World Championships.

Jorien ter Mors (Netherlands): Expected to compete in short-track and long-track. 2013 World Championships: second in 1,000, fifth overall. Has World Cup podiums at 1,000 and 1,500.

Martina Valcepina (Italy): Nine World Cup podiums at 500.

Zhou Yang (China): Gold medalist (1,500) in 2010. Second overall (and in 1,000 and 1,500) in 2008 World Championships. Only recent World Cup podiums are in 1,500.

3 thoughts on “2014 medal projections: Short-track speedskating”

  1. Really, Commenter? Given the wild things that can happen in this sport, these projections seem to be holding up OK. I could use the rest and peace, though — thanks!

  2. If they had today’s doping standards back when the USSR was still relevant they may not have had any athletes eligible to compete.

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