The International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track Speed Skating World Cup comes to Dresden in Germany on the penultimate leg of the tour with opportunities for leaders to wrap up their titles.
South Korea’s Kim Ji-Yoo sits atop the women’s 1500 metres standings this year after wins in Canada and Japan and will look to seal her title by maintaining her 100 percent record in the distance.
Team-mate Kim Alang won last time out in China but won’t compete, and she’ll finish, at best, in third behind second place Han Yu Tong of China, who has picked up points in every event so far.
The Netherlands’ Suzanne Schulting and Canada’s Kim Boutin have also won and are both set to compete.
The Canadian could wrap up the 500m title too if she wins her fifth straight World Cup event in the distance and could still do it if she scores well and betters her closest rival, Italy’s Martina Valcepina.
Valcepina is the only other person to win in this year’s World Cup in the opening leg where Boutin was absent.
She sits more than a race win ahead of Yara van Kerkhof of The Netherlands who sits in third with two legs left.
Schulting on the other hand could seal the 1000m title with a win, thanks to the absence in the event from the Chinese skater, Han.
Seo Whi-Min of South Korea is the only other skater who can realistically overturn Schulting’s lead, sitting within a race win of the Dutch athlete, and she has claimed two silvers this season.
In the women’s 3000m relay, consistent Canada took their first win last time in China and will hope to extend that lead over their Chinese rivals who lost a lot of ground at their home event on the leaders.
If Canada win again, China must finish second to have any chance of winning overall with South Korea and Russia close behind.
In the men’s 1500m, all five of the top skaters will compete with new World Cup leader, South Korea’s Lee June-Seo taking his first win to overtake China’s An Kai, who has yet to win an event but has crucially taken part in every leg so far.
Lee’s team-mates Park Ji-Won and Kim Dong-Wook both have wins, with the former having the most victories with two.
The other win in the event came from Russia’s Semen Elistratov in the opening round, who sits in fifth.
A win will confirm a World Cup title for Shaolin Sandor Liu in the 500m as he holds one of the biggest leads having won half of the races so far this season.
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His younger brother Shaoang Liu took a surprise win in Japan when his sibling struggled and after a couple of bronze medals in United States and China, he sits close behind second place Wu Dajing of China, although he cannot catch his brother.
Dajing is the only skater who can catch the Hungarian, but if he cannot win in Germany, his chances of catching him will be all but over.
Adding to Park’s two wins in the 1500m, his one victory in the 1000m has propped him up to the top of the standings, having made the podium in every one of his four attempts this year.
China’s Han Tianyu and Elistratov are both close behind the South Korean having both posted wins in the event this season.
However, in fourth, Hwang Dae-Heon is the only person with two wins so far, having not raced since the second leg.
He races again here; and a win will give him a chance to take the overall title – although he sits far behind Park at this stage.
Leaders Russia have yet to finish outside the top three in the 5000m relay – the same feat as second place South Korea, who have yet to win a race but have finished with silver on three out of their four attempts.
Hungary and China are a distance off, but both have won this season and sit in third and fourth.
Russia will also look to wrap up the mixed relay ahead of China and The Netherlands.
The three-day event will take place from February 7 to 9.