According to a prediction by the American Associated Press (AP), Hungary will win two bronze medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin Friday, reports Hungarian state news agency, MTI. The program officially begins on February 4th but the first Hungarian athletes will compete only on Saturday, February 5th.
According to the prediction, two of our short track speed skaters, Shaoang Liu, and US-born John-Henry Krueger, are expected to win bronze medals at the Winter Olympics.
Olympic, world, and European short track speed skating champion, Shaoang Liu, is predicted to finish third behind two Chinese athletes, defending champion and world record holder, Vu Ta-qing, and Zhen Zedong, while John-Henry Krueger is predicted to finish third in the 1000m, the same one in which he finished second in American colors four years ago. Krueger is ahead of South Korean Hvang Tae Hon and Canadian Pascal Dion.
The men’s 5000m will feature the defending champion in Beijing, but the AP predicts no medal for him this year. The news agency predicts gold for the South Korean, silver for the Canadian, and bronze for the Chinese.
Short track speed skating is the only sport at the Winter Olympics where a Hungarian medal is expected. The Hungarian federation hopes to score 10-15 Olympic points. Four years ago in Pyongyang, the men’s relay team of Liu Shaoang, Sándor Liu Shaolin, Viktor Knoch, and Csaba Burján won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Hungary.
Currently, Hungary has 14 quota places in five sports for the upcoming Winter Olympics: Alpine skiing (2), cross-country skiing (2), figure skating (2), short track speed skating (7), and snowboarding (1).
Although the program officially begins on February 4th, the first Hungarian athletes will compete on Saturday, February 5th.
On that day, the first Hungarian points or even a medal can be won. At 12 o’clock the short track speed skaters will start their competitions with the qualifying heats of 500m for women, 1000m for men, and also the finals of the mixed relays will be held.
Zita Tóth, Hungary’s first alpine skier, will also be competing that day, in the first race of the women’s giant slalom.
On February 8th, skier Ádám Kónya will compete in the qualifying round of the Freestyle Sprint starting at 9 am.
From a Hungarian point of view, February 9th will be one of the most eventful days in Beijing: At 2:30 in the morning, the first Hungarian snowboarder, Kamilla Kozuback, will compete in the women’s halfpipe qualification. At 3:15 the first race of the women’s downhill will start with Zita Tóth; the second race will start at quarter to seven.
Cross-country skier Sára Pónya stayed home on Monday because of a positive coronavirus test. If she manages to travel to Beijing in time, she will compete in the women’s 10km race in classic style at 8:00. The longest individual event for men’s short track speed skaters, the 1500m, will be held the same day at noon, with a medal ceremony at the end of the day, while the women’s 1000m qualifier will take place.
On Friday, February 11th, the speed skaters will compete again: women’s 1000m quarterfinals and semifinals, men’s 500m prelims, and the defending champion’s 5000m men’s semifinal will start at 12:00. Cross-country skier Ádám Kónya will compete at 8:00 in the 15 kilometer race.
On Saturday there will be no Hungarian competitors, while on Sunday, February 13th at 3:15, Márton Kékesi will make his debut race in the men’s ski giant slalom. At noon, the battle for the 500m medal in men’s speed skating will be held, hopefully with Hungarian participation.
On Wednesday, February 16th at 3:15 we can see Márton Kékesi, who will compete in the slalom that day. From 12 o’clock the speed skaters are back on the track, first the women’s 1500m, then the Beijing short track program closes with the final of the Olympic defending champion in the men’s short track.
In the last days of the Games, from the Hungarian team, only cross-country skier Ádám Kónya and the figure skating team will be left. Kónya will compete in the 50km mass start race on Saturday, February 19th. Ioulia Chtchetinina and Márk Magyar will present their short program on Friday, February 18th at 11:38 a.m., followed by the free skate the next day at 12:08 p.m.. If they make it to the top six, they can compete in the race on Sunday, but if not, the Beijing Olympics will be over for the Hungarian team.
The detailed schedule is available here.
Source: Nemzeti Sport
Featured image: Journalists work in the media center of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 2, 2022. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI