The new empress
In only two editions of the Olympic Winter Games, Meng Wang became the new queen of short-track speed skating. With six Olympic medals to her name, she already holds court as the athlete with the most medals in this discipline, while also being the Chinese female athlete with the most Winter Games medals. She celebrated her 25th birthday a few weeks after the Vancouver 2010 Games, and can hope to see her reign last a few more years.
2006: a complete collection and a disappointment>
In 2003, the young Chinese athlete made her first appearance at the World Championships, including in the relay of the national team. This first attempt was a masterstroke, as this debut appearance was rewarded with the gold medal! Three years passed and Meng Wang entered the arena for the Turin Olympic Games. On this occasion she came away with a wonderful haul of medals: gold in the 500m, silver in the 1000m and bronze in the 1500m. Her only disappointment stemmed from the result of the relay event. The third-ranked Chinese were disqualified as Meng Wang committed a fault by hampering the Canadian skater.
Eight titles in two years
Over the seasons, Meng Wang continued to increase her domination in short-track speed skating. At the 2008 and 2009 World Championships, she grabbed eight titles. All that remained was to confirm this supremacy at the 2010 Olympic Games.
Her hunting ground: the 500m
In Vancouver, she first dominated in the 500m, her favourite event and the one in which she holds the world record. Despite, or thanks to, the opposition of two Canadians fired up by the audience, she set a new Olympic record on the Pacific Coliseum ice.
When the threat comes from inside
For the 1000m event, the danger came this time from her own camp. She had to face her compatriot Yang Zhou, only 19 years old and already holder of the world record, who beat the Olympic record in the semi-final, but committed a fault in the final. She thus left her place to Meng Wang, who went on to take a second gold medal. The Chinese champion thought that with the 1,500m she would once again have the opportunity to step up to the podium. But her journey came to a sudden end, this time in the semi-final: she was disqualified for committing a fault.
The Chinese hands down
It didn’t matter, as there was a still a chance with her team mates in the relay event, in which the Chinese are untouchable. Led by its stars, Meng Wang and Yang Zhou, the team beat the Olympic record in the semi-final. For the last race, they gave their competitors no opportunities, winning by nearly three seconds. The world and Olympic records were smashed again. Meng Wang can indisputably be crowned the queen of these Games with her three gold medals.