The Republic of Korea has been dominant in the short track speed skating at Lausanne 2020, but the rest of the world grabbed some limelight in the mixed NOC team relay on Wednesday.
Miyata Shogo (JPN) brought home the vital last couple of laps at the Lausanne Skating Arena for Team B, alongside teammates Kim Chanseo (KOR), Diede Van Oorschot (NED) and Jonathan So (USA).
They saw off the challenge of Team G, who were led by men's individual 1000m gold medallist Jang Sungwoo (KOR).
“We worked well as a team,” said So. “We had one day of practice and we communicated really well to sharpen up our flaws.
“All the coaches can relatively speak English, and I speak Korean, so I could communicate with Chanseo. Me and Shogo have got a real connection, too.”
So said working with athletes and coaches from other nations had been an enriching experience.
“It’s been really good working with the Korean coaches. It’s a different environment, maybe they are a little bit more strict, but it helps us be more motivated to win. During the race, we tried to stay safe, stay tight.”
The format of two male and two female athletes split across four different nations on each team also got the thumbs up.
“I like the mixed nationalities and mix of boys and girls because it is very fast and very different,” Van Oorschot said. “The crowd were great and they gave us a very good boost of energy.”
Along with Jang, Iuliia Beresneva (RUS), Chang Hui (TPE) and Gabriel Volet (FRA) took the silver for Team G.
The standout star of the sport at Lausanne 2020, Seo Whi Min (KOR), who won the women’s 1000m and 500m, was part of the bronze medal winning Team A along with Olivia Weedon (GBR), Ethan De Rose (NZL) and Thomas Nadalini (ITA).
Seo is already competitive on the senior circuit and has made it on to podiums at the ISU World Cup this season, aged just 17.
“The senior World Cup is big, but this also felt like a very big event to me, and I really wanted to win the medals,” Seo said.
Weedon was honoured to be in the same line-up as Seo. “I’ve been in awe of her the whole time,” she said. “She is so strong and she has no fear. I’ve learned a lot from her, she tries her best no matter what races she is in. We’re friends on Instagram, so we will stay in touch.”