The Olympic short speed skating photo is shown at the end of the World Cup season

The Olympic short speed skating photo is shown at the end of the World Cup season

The recent Olympics showed that the pool of nations vying for medals in short track speed skating is growing deeper than the traditional powers of South Korea, China, the United States and Canada.

Last World Cup season, the best indicator of Olympic medal prospects, was further proof of that.

The six skaters at the top of the standings in the individual Olympic events – the men’s and women’s 500m, 1000m and 1500m – come from six different countries.

Dutch women stay ahead Susan Schulting, who was the only man or woman to finish in the top four at all distances this season.

Schulting, who became the first Dutch short-track Olympic champion in 2018 (the country has 42 long-track medals), won every gold at the world championships in March. Then the caveat is that the competition did not include skaters from China or South Korea, nor the best skaters in Canada, Kim is a poet.

But Schulting once again cut every distance, this time against some of the world’s best players, in the penultimate stage of the World Cup two weeks ago. Dutch dominance in long track speed skating is being tested this season, so Schulting is arguably the most successful Dutch Olympian in Beijing.

Other pioneering female veterans include: Italian women Ariana Fontana, who shares the Olympic short track record with eight medals, finished first or second in the 500 meters this entire season.

And the newcomers: Lee Yu BinThe only female skater in Pyeongchang and at the World Championships, she was the only South Korean woman to win multiple races this fall. Despite this, Lee finished fourth at the Olympic Trials in South Korea in May, making her in class only once for a relay service at the Olympics.

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However, a four-time Olympic medalist Shim Suk Hee He was removed from the national team for the entire World Cup season, which could open an Olympic venue. Shim, who won the Olympic Trials, faced an investigation earlier this fall after she exchanged text messages that she may have intentionally missed her co-champion. Choi Min Jeong During the 2018 Olympic Games.

Christine Santos She climbed three singles podiums this season, giving the United States hope for their first women’s short-term Olympic medal since 2010. Santos finished fourth in the 2018 Olympic Trials, with three women on the team. A month before the auditions, she had to have surgery after she cut another skate knife in her hand and wrist during the World Cup.

Santos managed to qualify for her first Olympics in a two-week trial in Utah.

The best men in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m races are looking for their first individual Olympic medal.

The men’s 500m is arguably one of the most anticipated events in all sports at the Olympics as the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder. Wu Dajing from the host country.

However, Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor Wu’s performance was better than in the World Cup. Born in Budapest to a Hungarian mother and a Chinese father, Liu founded a relay team in Pyeongchang that won its first gold medal at the Hungarian Winter Games.

Canadian Pascal Dion, who finished 10th in his individual best at the Olympics or World Championships, has led the 1000m standings this season. South Korea Hwang Dae Hyun He won two of the four races, but was in one of the races. Hwang won the overall title at the Olympic Trials for South Korea.

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Ren Ziwei, the silver medalist at the 2018 Olympics for China, topped the 1500m.

American men haven’t scored a podium this season, despite the 2018 Olympic silver medalists John Henry Krueger He earned a few second place for Hungary. Krueger changed his citizenship after Pyeongchang, citing a lack of financial support in the United States

Unless the top-ranked nations drop their positions, the United States will not compete in the men’s Olympic relay race for the first time since the Olympic short-track debut in 1992.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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