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Hungarian Speed Skater Finishes Second Overall at World Short Track Championships

Fanni Kaszás 2018.03.20.

Hungarian short track speed skater Shaolin Sándor Liu, part of the Olympic champion short track speed skating team on 5000m Relay, finished second in the overall standings at the 2018 World Short Track Championships in Montreal, Canada, after winning the Men’s 3000m Super Final, an event open only to the top eight skaters in overall standings following the first three individual events of the competition.

For a time it seemed that, for the first time since 2014, the Hungarian team would head home without a medal, but Shaolin Sándor Liu finished first in the 3000m Super Final, 0.03 seconds ahead of China’s Xu Hongzhi, and the pair finished only eight seconds before the rest of the athletes, including the Russian Semen Elistratov and Canadian Charles Hamelin.

Canadian Charles Hamelin won the overall at worlds with 81 points, nearly double the points of the silver medalist Liu, while South Korean Hwang Dae-Heon took overall bronze with 44 points, only one point behind the Hungarian.

This is the sixth world championship medal for the 22-year-old skater, including a world champion title in the 500m race. He said after the medal ceremony that

I wasn’t expecting this medal, it’s such a big thing for me. I only qualified for the A Final in the 1500; I didn’t get an individual medal. I’m not a long-distance skater and it was such a surprising thing. After the race I saw I was third overall, and then I looked up again and I saw I was in second place. I was so shocked.

The 1000m did not go as the Hungarian team expected: Petra Jászapáti dropped out in the quarter finals, Shaoang Liu in in the semi-finals, while his brother Shaolin Liu and the two relay teams got in to the B finals. Shaolin won his final and finished sixth.

This was the 43rd World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, and was held from 16 to 18 March 2018 in Montreal.