Chinese skaters finding their form in Shanghai
The ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating event is underway in Shanghai. Most Chinese skaters went unchallenged in their preliminaries.
All of them have one thing in common after day one of competition: they are getting back into form in time for the Pyoengchang Winter Olympic Games.
Four Chinese skaters topped the charts barely a day into competition at the World Cup in Shanghai. Last season's top skater in the Men's 500 Meter Wu Dajing reached the discipline's quarterfinals with the fastest time in all heats.
Chinese skater Wu Dajing races in men's 500m prelimenaries of 2017 ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating Shanghai station on Nov 9, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
Wu is happy with his speed and says it is exactly what he needs after two very hard World Cup stops.
"Everyone says we suffered setbacks in the previous two stops and did not do well. But I thought we did ok, except for a few details. During the month-long training, we have been gradually gearing up for the challenges and fixed our problems regarding some of those details. As soon as I got my speed back, I also found my confidence. After World Cup 1 and World Cup 2, I doubted if my form declined, but I felt pretty good today," Wu said.
Fan Kexin was the fastest in the Ladies' 500 Meter Heats. An experienced and established skater herself, Fan is still looking for improvements on the international level.
"I think I am becoming more and more competitive against the world's best skaters. I felt like I was still a short distance from some of the skaters from other countries during the first two World Cup stops, for example in execution of details. My coach and I have been working on such details in the past month so I can get closer to my opponents on the track," Fan said.
Men's 1,500 meter participant Xu Hongzhi advanced into the heats after two of his opponents were penalized for fouls.
Xu is very optimistic about his Olympic chances but admits he is feeling the pressure.
"I feel like I am in much better form than I was in the last two World Cup stops. I am feeling well. I am also more nervous because we are fighting for Olympic qualification. If we mess up, there will be fewer Olympic berths for us," Xu said.
Chinese skater Han Yutong (Left 2) races in women's 1500m prelimenaries of 2017 ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating Shanghai station on Nov 9, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
A number of Chinese skaters are competing in multiple disciplines with the hope of securing maximum Olympic quotas. They will earn their qualification points and vie for the podium in the following days at the World Cup in Shanghai.