Short track speed skating


Short track speed skating

Short track speed skating (also "Shorttrack speedskating") is a form of competitive ice speed skating. In competitions, multiple skaters (typically between four and six) skate on an oval ice track with a circumference of 111.12 m. The rink itself is 60 m by 30 m, which is the same size as an international-sized hockey rink.

History

Short track speed skating originated in the speed skating events held with mass starts. This form of speed skating was mainly practiced in the United States and Canada, as opposed to the international form, where skaters skated in pairs. At the 1932 Winter Olympics, speed skating events were conducted in the mass start form. Competitions in North America were also held indoors, for example in Madison Square Garden, New York, and therefore on shorter tracks than was usual for outdoor skating.

In 1967, the International Skating Union adopted short track speed skating, although it did not organise international competitions until 1976. World Championships have been held since 1981 though earlier events later also received that status.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics, held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, short track was a demonstration sport. It was upgraded to a full Olympic sport in 1992 and has been part of the Winter Olympics since. The programme was expanded from 4 in 1992 to 8 in 2002. The events are the same for both men and women: 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m and the relay (5000 m (men)/3000 m (women)).

South Korea has been the dominant country in the sport and the sport is also highly popular in many other countries such as The People's Republic of China, US, Italy, Canada and Japan. With smaller ice tracks and shorter, often spectacular competitions, short track speed skating has grown more popular than the older long track in many countries. In the 2006 Olympics, South Korea won the most medals in short track speed skating.

Classes

In Canada, short track competitions are held either as all-points meets, where skaters are seeded based only on their times for a standard distance (usually the 500m), or an age class, where people are seeded by age and gender. All-points meets allow racing against skaters of all ages and genders, with the exception of the Masters age class (30+). All-points meets are usually held at the local level in only certain provinces. Age class meets are utilized at the provincial and national levels. Age classes are :
*Peewee: 6-7
*Pony: 9-10
*Midget: 11-12
*Juvenile: 13-14
*Junior: 15-16
*Intermediate: 17-18
*Senior: 19-29
*Master1: 30-39
*Master2: 40-49
*Master3: 50-59
*Master4: 60+Ages are determined as of July 1 prior to competition. At International and Olympic competitions, skaters are placed by gender only.

Notable skaters

Males

* Apolo Anton Ohno
* Ahn Hyun Soo
* Kim Dong-Sung
* Lee Ho-Suk
* Kim Ki-hoon
* LI Jiajun
* Steven Bradbury
* Marc Gagnon
* Jonathan Guilmette
* Charles Hamelin
* Toshinobu Kawai
* Wilf O'Reilly
* Mathieu Turcotte
* ZHANG Zhiqiang

Females

* Jin Sun-Yu
* Chun Lee-kyung
* Alanna Kraus
* Nathalie Lambert
* Evgenia Radanova
* ZHOU Yang
* Sylvie Daigle
* LIU Qiuhong
* Kalyna Roberge
* Tania Vicent
* Wang Meng
* Yang Yang (A)
* Yang Yang (S)

External links

* [http://www.isu.org/vsite/vnavsite/page/directory/0,10853,4844-128613-129921-nav-list,00.html International Skating Union]
* [http://www.speedskating.ca/index.cfm Speed Skating Canada]
* [http://www.usspeedskating.org US Speed Skating]


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