Short track speed skating World Cup Beijing is about to start
China’s short track speed skating rises to the challenge
From December 8th to 10th, the 2023~2024 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup (Beijing) will be held at the Capital Gymnasium. Short track speed skating experts from all over the world will once again gather in the “Double Olympic City” to show the passion and charm of ice racing.
Reporters recently learned during the Chinese team’s pre-match training that the Chinese team’s performance in the previous two World Cup events was stable. The main goal of the Chinese team in this station is to further adapt the players to international competitions and strengthen the team’s integration in relay events. The atmosphere of this event is hot, and the tickets have already been sold out. The public’s enthusiasm for short track speed skating will help further develop and popularize the project.
“Looking forward to playing at home”
It is understood that the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup is an A-level event under the International Skating Union. This season includes six sub-stations, of which the Beijing station is the third station and is hosted by the Chinese Skating Association and the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau. More than 160 athletes from many countries or regions signed up for this competition. Recently, the Chinese short track speed skating team announced a list of 12 participants, including 6 men and 6 women. The men’s team contestants are Ren Ziwei, Lin Xiaojun, Liu Shaolin, Liu Shao’ang, Li Wenlong and Sun Long; the women’s team sends Fan Kexin, Gong Li, Zang Yize, Wang Xinran, Xu Aili and Wang Ye. This lineup, with its mix of old and new, is an elite one.
In the first two races of this season’s World Cup held in Montreal, Canada, the Chinese short track speed skating team performed well, winning a total of 4 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze, ranking third in the medal list. Among them, the men’s and women’s mixed relay team won back-to-back championships in the 2000-meter mixed relay; Liu Shaoang won the men’s 500-meter gold medal in the first leg; the Chinese team also won the gold medal in the men’s 5000-meter relay in the second leg.
As the host, Chinese players have more expectations for this competition. Gong Li told reporters: “I am full of expectations when I return to my home court and strive to achieve better results than the previous two stops.” In the first two World Cup stops, Gong Li won the gold medal with the team in the mixed relay event and won the gold medal in the women’s 1500 meters event. The best result was fifth place. Beijing girl Wang Ye also said that she was excited to participate in such a high-level event in her hometown and hoped to break through herself.
The most attractive players in this competition are veterans such as Beijing Winter Olympics champion Ren Ziwei and world champion Fan Kexin. After the Beijing Winter Olympics, the two have not appeared in international competitions. Talking about the reasons for their comeback at this site, Zhang Jing, the head coach of the Chinese short track speed skating team, said that after Ren Ziwei and Fan Kexin resumed training this year, their condition has gradually improved. “They also look forward to achieving good results in the ‘local operations’ and will Build up morale.”
Facing fierce competition and facing difficulties
Zhang Jing believes that after the first two games, the competitive level of many athletes in the team has improved, achieving the purpose of training and running in the team. On the other hand, competition in short-track speed skating is now very fierce in the world. “If you don’t advance, you will retreat. You must be prepared to face difficulties.”
“At present, our men’s short distance is still very competitive, and we are also strengthening physical training in the middle and long distance. As for the women’s team, we can indeed see their progress in training, but there is still a certain gap between them and international high-level competition. , we must continue to work hard.” Zhang Jing said.
It is reported that in the previous second leg of the World Cup, the final medals belonged to more than 10 countries, and the 11 gold medals belonged to 7 countries. In this regard, Liu Chenyu, the leader of the Chinese short track speed skating team, believes that this is a sign of increasingly fierce competition. “In addition to the Korean team, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries have rapidly emerged in short track speed skating in recent years. We are no longer competing with one or two countries, but are facing a situation surrounded by strong enemies.”
According to Zhang Jing, there are no specific performance requirements for the Chinese team in this competition. “We are placing it within the four-year framework of preparing for the Milan Winter Olympics and striving to improve every season.” Zhang Jing believes that judging from the results of the first two events, 3 of the 4 gold medals were obtained in relay events. In the men’s short distance event, the Chinese team has certain strength, but it does not have an absolute advantage. “Relay events that rely on teamwork and overall strength need to be more stable.”
Ren Ziwei told reporters that compared with two years ago, his current physical condition and competitive level have declined. “I’m still on an upward climb, and I hope to help my condition improve through games. I don’t have any mental baggage, I just show myself, and I will go all out in every game.”
Public enthusiasm boosts development
As the Chinese team’s traditional advantage, short track speed skating has always attracted much attention. According to reports, the ticketing work for the Beijing Station of the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup was launched in mid-November. In a short period of time, more than 10,000 tickets for the two weekend competition days of December 9th and 10th were sold out. Many “ice fans” are enthusiastic and look forward to cheering for Chinese players at home.
“I was shocked to learn that the tickets for the game were sold out in just a few minutes. The enthusiasm of the audience was so high! This may put a little pressure on me. I hope to turn it into motivation on the field and fully perform to my level.” Liu Shaoang told reporters.
After the Beijing Winter Olympics, ice and snow sports continued to expand and become more popular. In early April this year, the 2023 National Short Track Speed Skating Championship held at the Capital Gymnasium provided “ice fans” with wonderful visual enjoyment. Many spectators personally experienced the charm of this “Double Olympics venue” and short track speed skating.
It is worth mentioning that Beijing not only promotes the development of short track speed skating by using the legacy of the Winter Olympics to hold top events, but also consolidates and consolidates the results of “driving 300 million people to participate in ice and snow sports” through mass and youth events. Among them, the short track speed skating competition for the youth competitive group of the Second Beijing Winter Games held in September this year attracted nearly 200 young athletes to participate, and many “good prospects” emerged.
In Zhang Jing’s view, the fact that so many citizens are paying attention to short track speed skating shows that the project’s mass base has been further strengthened. “The public’s enthusiasm for short track speed skating will give more children the opportunity to be exposed to this project, promote its popularization, thereby expanding reserve talents, and help promote the development of the project.”