At short track worlds, the Dutch end a dynasty shared by rivals

Short Track Speed Skating

The Netherlands won all four women’s events at the world short track speed skating championships and became the first nation other than China and South Korea to top the gold-medal standings outright at a fully attended worlds in at least 25 years.

The Dutch, historically the most successful nation in long-track speed skating, were led on the smaller oval by Xandra Velzeboer, who won the 500m (in a Dutch medals sweep) and 1000m over the weekend.

Worlds were at Mokdong Ice Rink, the longtime hub of South Korean skating in Seoul.

Suzanne Schulting, the two-time reigning Olympic 1000m champion, won the 1500m. The Dutch also won the women’s relay and the mixed relay for five gold medals total.

“We dominated this competition,” Schulting said, according to the International Skating Union. “It’s very special to see how Xandra dealt with all the pressure here as well. To speak for myself, I’m just done and feeling empty.”

South Korea was second with two golds, both from Park Ji-Won (men’s 1000m and 1500m).

Park is unique. At 26, he has never competed in the Olympics, yet this World Cup season was the world’s top male skater after not competing on the top international level since February 2020.

“I’m the best out there, and I’ll try to keep this status for a long time,” Park said, according to the ISU. “I know the king’s crown weighs heavy, but I’m going to take on this burden and continue to race like nobody has ever done before.”

Come the next Olympics in 2026, Park will be older than any previous South Korean to compete in an individual short track event at a Winter Games, according to

Corinne Stoddard posted the top American finish at worlds — fifth in the 500m. The U.S. last won a world medal in 2014.

Italy, the 2026 Winter Olympic host, was without Arianna Fontana, the record 11-time Olympic short track medalist who took this season off. Fontana, who made her Olympic debut at the 2006 Torino Games at age 15, was expected to return for the 2023-24 season, her representative said in December.

In her absence, Pietro Sighel gave Italy its first Olympic or world title in a men’s event since 1999 (Fabio Carta), taking the 500m.

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Hungary’s history-making short track speed skating brothers seek new country

Liu Shaolin Sandor, Liu Shaoang

Brothers Liu Shaolin Sandor and Liu Shaoang, short track speed skaters who helped Hungary win its first Winter Olympic gold medals, want to start the process of changing nationality.

The brothers requested the consent of Hungary’s federation to switch countries, though they did not name the country, according to the federation. The brothers were born in Budapest to a Hungarian mother and a Chinese father and now train in China, according to the federation.

The brothers have not commented on the federation’s annoucement.

Any skater wishing to change countries must be granted a release from their original country and sit out competition for 12 months, according to the federation, citing International Skating Union rules.

The Hungarian federation said it will address the situation at its next board meeting.

After last season, the brothers followed the Hungarian national team coach, who returned to her home country of China to take its head coaching job. The Hungarian federation said the brothers trained with the Chinese national team while also receiving assistance from a Hungarian national team coach but did not find the situation suitable.

In 2018, the Liu brothers made up half of the Hungarian men’s 5000m relay team that won the nation’s first Winter Olympic gold medal.

This year, Liu Shaoang won the Olympic 500m to become the first Hungarian to win an individual Winter Olympic title. He then won the overall world title in April in the last international competition for either brother. Liu Shaolin Sandor did not compete at worlds.

Neither brother competed in the first two World Cups this season in Montreal and Salt Lake City the last two weeks.

Another Hungarian skater, 2018 U.S. Olympic silver medalist John-Henry Krueger, will no longer compete for the national team after an unspecified disciplinary situation, according to Hungarian media in July quoting a national team manager. Efforts to reach Krueger, who switched from the U.S. to Hungary after the 2018 Olympics at least in part for financial reasons, have been unsuccessful.

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Dutch break short track speed skating world records

Suzanne Schulting

Dutchwomen Suzanne Schulting and Xandra Velzeboer broke short track speed skating world records in the heats of a World Cup stop outside Salt Lake City on Friday.

Schulting, the two-time reigning Olympic 1000m champion, clocked 1 minute, 25.958 seconds at that distance.

That smashed her own record time of 1:26.514 from the Olympics in February, when she broke a 10-year-old world record and became the first woman to break an individual world record at the Olympics since 2010.

Velzeboer, part of the Dutch Olympic champion women’s relay team in February, broke the 500m sprint world record on Friday. The reigning world 500m champion skated 41.416 seconds, beating Canadian Kim Boutin‘s record of 41.936 set on the same ice in November 2019.

The 500m and 1000m finals are spread between Saturday and Sunday.

Now all of the men’s and women’s world records in individual Olympic distances (500m, 1000m, 1500m) are from the Utah Olympic Oval ice.

ON HER TURF: Kristen Santos-Griswold resets short track priorities, aims to handle ‘unfinished business’

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