SHANGHAI, China (March 11, 2012) - Team USA’s ladies - Lana Gehring(Glenview, Ill), Emily Scott (Springfield, MO), Jessica Smith (Melvindale, MI) and Tamara Frederick (Park Ridge, Ill) - skated to a silver medal in the ladies 3000m on the final day of competition of the ISU Short Track World Championships in Shanghai.
The team skated strong throughout the race, battling for the lead with China and Korea. Smith charged ahead and put Team USA in the lead with one exchange to go. Team USA finished second with a time of 4:17.223, behind 2012 World Champions Team China (4:16.303). Team Korea finished third at 4:17.240.
“ It felt like the girls were working together really well today and connecting,” said Smith. “ I knew we needed to make a move and do whatever we could, so when Lana pushed me and I saw an opening to get to the front and I took advantage of it and held my own for my lead and then we brought it home to the silver. All the girls are really happy that we came through with a medal, and leaving Worlds with a silver is a nice feeling.”
“That was one of our best relays all year, we really showed our strengths, and today makes three silvers in a row for the relay,” added Gehring.
“We’ve all worked really hard this year and came together as a team and we were able to pull off a silver,” said Scott. “We’re really excited and we can only go up from here, so we’re ready for the challenge.”
“It’s nice to have done really well and end on a good note,” said Frederick reflecting on her rookie year. “I’m looking forward to next year.”
The 1000m distance proved to be a challenging day for Team USA. The team skated strong in their respective races, but were plagued by penalties in the early rounds.
Dudek fell in her quarterfinal and was penalized for impeding. Gehring and Smith both skated through to the semifinals, but did not advance after placing 3rd, Gehring with a time of 1:30.001 and Smith at 1:32.596, in their respective semifinals.
Ha-Ri Cho (KOR) won the 1000m World Championship title posting a time of 1:31,283 in the final , Jianrou Lee (CHN) took 2nd (1:31.325) and Valerie Maltais (CAN) finished 3rd in the final and overall with a time of 1:31.350. Gehring placed 5th in the 1000m standings, Smith 6th and Dudek 20th.
Travis Jayner (Midland, MI) fell and was penalized in the opening round of 1000m preliminaries, Jordan Malone(Denton, TX) was penalized in his heat, and Simon Cho (Laurel, MD) finished 4th in his quarterfinal posting a time of 1:26.794, missing a qualifying spot for the semifinals.
Korea took the top two spots in the men’s 1000m final, with Yoon-gy Kwak clinching the title with a time of 1:27.772, Jinkyu Noh in 2nd (1:34.463), and Charles Hamelin (CAN) in third following a fall with (two laps to go), posting a time of 1:55.181.Cho finished the day ranked 13th in the 1000m, Malone was 25th, and Jayner 48th.
Ranking among the top 8 skaters overall, Gehring qualified to race in the 3000m Superfinal, where additional points are awarded toward the overall World Championship title. Gehring finished 6th (5:06.292). Valerie Maltais (CAN) won the Superfinal (4:55.408), followed by Arianna Fontana (ITA) in 2nd (5:01.187) , and Marie-Eve Drolet (CAN) in 3rd with 5:03.387.
China’s Jianrou Li was crowned 2012 Overall Ladies World Champion, Maltais took silver, and Fontana won bronze. Gehing finished 8th overall, Smith 12th, and Dudek placed 26th.
Korea’s Yoon-Gy Kwak won the men’s Overall title, followed by Noh (KOR) and Olivier Jean (CAN), for silver and bronze, respectively. Cho finished 15th Overall, Malone 21st, and Jayner was 25th.
Extended results from today’s World Championships in Shanghai are available here :http://www.sportresult.com/federations/ISU/ShortTrack/ The 2012 ISU World Short Track Championships will be televised on Universal Sports, March 14th and 15th, at 6pm (PST).