Team USA Opens Short Track World Championships in Shanghai
SHANGHAI, China (March 9, 2012) - Team USA opened the 2012 Short Track World Championships today racing the ladies and men’s 1500m and ladies relay.
Jessica Smith (Melvindale, MI) skated the 1500m final for Team USA, finishing 5th with a time of 2:23.588. China took the two top spots on the podium with Jianrou Li winning the distance at 2:23.217, and Qiuhong Liu in second (2:23.411). Marie-Eve Drolet (CAN) finished third with a time of 2:23.474.
“I just went into each race trying to skate better than the last race, and to have more personal set goals rather than looking at the end goal of a medal,” said Smith. “I made it to the final and obviously my ultimate goal was to medal, but I was just shy of that. I still skated what I felt was a good race for me today, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Smith, Lana Gehring (Glenview, Ill.) and Alyson Dudek (Hales Corners, WI) skated the 1500m for Team USA today. Gehring and Dudek skated through to the semifinal round, where Gehring finished 4th (2:26.113) in her heat, and Dudek 5th (2:24.904). Gehring and Dudek did not move on to the finals.
In the 1500m ladies overall, Smith finished 5th, Gehring 11th, and Dudek 14th.
In the men’s 1500m, Simon Cho (Laurel, MD), Travis Jayner (Midland, MI) and Jordan Malone (Denton, TX) raced for Team USA. Malone finished 3rd in his opening heat with a time of 2:24.067 and did not move on to the semifinals. Cho skated a 2:20.543 to take 2nd in his heat, while Jayner posted a 2:15.305 for 2nd in his heat.
In the men’s semifinals, Jayner skated hard for a close 3rd place finish (2:18.245) in his heat. Cho finished 5th (2:17.794).
Korea swept the 1500m podium with Jinkyu Noh taking 1st (2:15.661), Yoon-Gy Kwak in 2nd (2:15.755), and Da Woon Sin third (2:15.861).
“ I’m really happy with how I read the race, my strategies, my tactics and how I skated. I didn’t get the result I wanted today, but it’s not because I didn’t give myself a chance. Today races gave me confidence to build on for tomorrow, and it’s a step in the right direction. I know I’m there and I know I’m ready,” said Jayner.
In men’s 1500m overall standings, Jayner finished 10th, Cho 15th, and Malone 24th.
Gehring, Smith, Emily Scott (Springfield, MO) and Tamara Frederick (Park Ridge, Ill) skated the Ladies 3000m Relay, finishing 2nd with a time of 4:17.447, behind Korea (4:16.946). Team USA’s ladies will race in Sunday’s final against Korea, China and Canada.
“We skated well as a team in the realy today, and we’re excited to be in the final and hopefully come home with a medal,” added Smith
Extended results from today’s races are available at http://www.sportresult.com/federations/ISU/ShortTrack/. Racing continues tomorrow in Shanghai with the ladies and men’s 500m and the men’s 5000m Relay.