China, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands will have a number of talented young athletes to count on for defending their status of powerhouses in Speed Skating in the coming years.
This became evident by the end of the Speed Skating events at Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games dominated by athletes coming from those four nations.
In the Women’s competition, Korea won the most medals, starting with Mi JANG (KOR) getting Gold in the 500m. She then doubled the medal coming first in the 1500m, 1.37 seconds before her nearest challenger, Sannike DE NEELING (NED), who took Silver.
But the Dutch was aiming for Gold at these Games and, cheered by her family, including her grandfather who initiated her to the sport, was able to clinch it twice, in the 3000m and in the Mass Start.
In the new event format, that saw all skaters compete together at the same time, Su Ji JANG (KOR) claimed Silver, while Japan’s Sumire KIKUCHI came third.
Both athletes had already reached the podium. KIKUCHI won Bronze in the 1500m, while Su Ji JANG had Bronze in the 3000m.
Japan’s third medal in Women’s competition was Silver and went to Rio HARADA in the 3000m.
In the 500m, Norway claimed their only medal in the competition, a Bronze, with Martine Lilloy BRUUN, while Chinese women’s only medal came with Xiaoxuan SHI’s Silver.
China proved unbeatable in the Men’s competition, grabbing all Golds to be awarded.
Short distance specialist An LIU won the 500m and got Silver in the 1500m, while prodigy Fan YANG claimed the first position in the 1500m, 3000m and the Mass Start, displaying exceptional speed, resistance and tactic skills.
His closest challenger was Seitaro ICHINOHE (JPN), who came immediately after the Chinese in the 3000m and the Mass Start, claiming Bronze after YANG and LIU in the 1500m.
Toshihiro KAKUI (JPN) notched Bronze in the 500m, while Korea’s only Men’s medal went in the shape of a Bronze to Hyeok Jun NOH in the 3000m.
Vasiliy PUDUSHKIN achieved Russia’s only medal in the Speed Skating competition receiving Bronze in the Mass Start.
Men's 1500 m - Results - Medallists
Women's 1500 m - Results - Medallists
Men's 3000m - Medallists
Women's 3000m - Medallists
Men's 500m - Medallists
Women's 500m - Medallists
Men's Mass Start - Medallists
Women's Mass Start - Medallists