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Winter Olympics: everything you need to know about speed skating and short track speed skating at the Beijing 2022 Games

If curling puts you to sleep and you have no idea what cross-country skiing is, skating could be the Winter Olympics for you. It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s a frenetic race to the finish on an ice rink.

There are several races with a mix of individual and team events over various distances. But simply put, skaters are the Usain Bolts, Caster Semenyas and Mo Farahs of the rink. The fastest to the finish while wearing a pair of skates wins.

There’s always plenty of drama, and also the occasional high-speed crash. Notably at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, when Australian Steven Bradbury claimed arguably the most unlikely gold medal of all time when all four of his rivals, who had left him a long way behind, all wiped each other out on the final corner. Even Bradbury could hardly believe he had won when he slid across the line at a snail’s pace.

Two disciplines will take place at the Beijing Games, namely Speed ​​Skating and Short Track Speed ​​Skating, with a total of 22 events.

Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know for the competition.

Skating will once again be a fascinating spectacle at the Winter Olympics this year

Skating will once again be a fascinating spectacle at the Winter Olympics this year

Where is the 2022 location for the two sports?

The Speed ​​Skating events will take place at the National Speed ​​Skating Oval, which is housed in the Beijing Zone.

The Oval is built on top of the Olympic Green Hockey Field and the Olympic Green Archery Field, which were used during the Beijing Summer Games in 2008.

Renamed ‘The Ice Ribbon’ for obvious reasons, it covers an area of ​​12,000 square feet. It also has a capacity of 12,000, but how many spectators will be there remains to be seen.

The Speed ​​Skating events will take place at the National Speed ​​Skating Oval in Beijing

The Speed ​​Skating events will take place at the National Speed ​​Skating Oval in Beijing

The Speed ​​Skating events will take place at the National Speed ​​Skating Oval in Beijing

Meanwhile, the Short Track events will be held at the Capital Indoor Stadium, which will also host the figure skating events. It was used for volleyball in 2008.

With the first locally broadcast Omicron case confirmed in Beijing in recent days, Beijing 2022 organizers have pulled the plug on plans to sell tickets widely while spectators based abroad have already been banned.

Instead, there will be an ‘adapted program’ that invites groups of spectators.

What is the difference between speed skating and short track speed skating?

Despite the relatively simple premise of skating, some formats can be complex and there are a number of rules. Most importantly, there is the difference between speed skating and short track speed skating.

Skating is a race against time – whoever finishes in the fastest time in a series of races wins.

Short track speed skating pits skater against skater in a head-to-head – whoever crosses the line first wins.

They are classified as different sports in the Winter Olympics.

Since the short track events take place on a smaller rink, that means tighter turns and shorter straights, so technique is more important than strength and endurance. The tight track also means more crashes, more falls and more drama.

Due to the tighter skating rink on the short track, there are many falls and crashes

Due to the tighter skating rink on the short track, there are many falls and crashes

Due to the tighter skating rink on the short track, there are many falls and crashes

What are the ice skating events in Beijing?

In terms of speed skating, there are a total of 14 events for men and women. Both men and women compete in separate races of 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m and 5,000m, with the men also having a 10,000m event and the women a 3,000m event.

Individual skaters start the race simultaneously in their own lanes, but must switch halfway through, from the ‘out’ lane to the ‘in’ lane and vice versa. The skater who switches from the outside lane to the inside has right of way, with disqualification the penalty for hindering a rival.

Interestingly, if a skater misses his race or falls, he has the option to race his distance again, as all results are based on time over the entire competition, not who wins the individual head-to-head.

Both sexes also participate in team pursuit and mass start races.

In the Team Pursuit, two teams of three skaters on either side of the track start and race (eight laps for men, six for women), finishing time being determined by when the third skater on the team crosses the line. Think of the track cycling team pursuit at the Olympics and you are on the right wavelength.

The Mass Start race can involve up to 28 skaters and it is basically a free-for-all with no designated lanes for 16 laps, with the first three racers to cross the finish line getting the medals. But there are also four mid-race sprints where points are awarded for the top three finishers, with the highest number of points being won during the final sprint. The racers who don’t finish in the top three are then ranked by the number of points they earn during the race, rather than by the order in which they cross the finish line.

What are the Short Track events in Beijing?

This year there will be an addition to the Short Track schedule, namely the Mixed Team Relay, which will make its Olympic debut.

It will be a 2000-meter race, consisting of two men and two women, who together complete 18 laps, with each athlete racing twice. The order is: woman-woman-man-man-woman-woman-man-man.

Otherwise, there’s a 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m for both men and women, plus a 5,000m relay for men and a 3,000m relay for women.

Four athletes race in the 500m and 1,000m competitions, while six to eight athletes race in the long-distance events. Some physical contact between the athletes is allowed, although pushing, kicking and interfering will result in disqualification.

The track is 111.12m long for the Short Track events and 400m for Speed ​​Skating, with timing to the nearest thousandth of a second.

SPEED SKATING AND SHORT TRACK SCHEDULE

Saturday 5 February

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 3000m (8.30am)

Short track speed skating: 500 m women – series (11 hours)

Short track speed skating: 1000 m men – series (11.48 am)

Short Track: Mixed Teams Relay – Quarter Finals (12:23 PM)

Short Track: Mixed Team Relay – Semifinals (12.53pm)

Short track speed skating: Relay mixed teams – Final B (1.18 hours)

Short Track: Mixed Team Relay – Final A (1:26 PM)

Sunday, February 6

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 5000m (8.30am)

Monday 7 February

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 1500m (8.30am)

Short Track: Women’s 500m – Quarter-finals (11:30am)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 1000m – Quarter Finals (11.44am)

Short Track: Women’s 500m – Semifinals (12.13pm)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1000 m – semi-finals (12.20 pm)

Short Track: Women’s 500 m – Final B (12:41 pm)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 500m – Final A (12.46pm)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1000 m – Final B (12.52 p.m.)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1000 m – Final A (12.58)

tuesday 8 february

Skating: Men’s 1500m (10.30am)

Wednesday 9 February

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 1500m – Quarterfinals (11am)

Short track speed skating: 1000 m women – series (11.44 am)

Short track speed skating: 5000 meters women (12 hours)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1500m – Semifinals (12.29pm)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 3000m Relay – Semifinals (12.45pm)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1500m – Final B (1.13 pm)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 1500 m – Final A (1:20 am)

Thursday 10 February:

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 5000m (12 hours)

Friday 11 February

Skating: Men’s 10000m (8 hours)

Short Track: Women’s 1000 m – Quarter-finals (11 hours)

Short track speed skating: 500 m men – series (11.18 am)

Short track speed skating: 1000 m Women – Semi-final (11.55 am)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 5000m Relay – Semifinals (12.04pm)

Short track speed skating: 1000m Women – Final (12.37pm)

Short track speed skating: 1000 m Women – Final A (12.43 pm)

Saturday 12 February

Speed ​​Skating: Quarterfinals Women’s Team Pursuit (8h)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 500m (8:53am)

Sunday 13 February

Speed ​​Skating: Quarterfinals Men’s Team Pursuit (1:00 PM)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 500m (1:56 PM)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 500m – Quarterfinals (11am)

Short track speed skating: men’s 500 m – semi-finals (11:27 am)

Short track speed skating: 3000 m relay women – final B (11.35 a.m.)

Short track speed skating: 3000 m relay women – final A (11.44 am)

Short track speed skating: Men’s 500 m – Final B (12.09)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 500m – Final A (12.14pm)

tuesday 15 february

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Team Pursuit, Semi-finals (6:30 a.m.)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit, Semifinals (6:52am)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Team Pursuit, Final D (7:24 am)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Team Pursuit, Final C (7:30 a.m.)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit, Final D (7:43)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit, Final C (7:49am)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Team Pursuit, Final B (8:22 a.m.)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Team Pursuit, Final A (8:28 am)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit, Final B (8:41 am)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit, Final A (8:47 am)

Wednesday 16 February

Short Track: Women’s 1500m – Quarter Finals (11:30am)

Short track speed skating: Women’s 1500m – Semifinals (12.15pm)

Short track speed skating: men’s 5000 m relay – final B (12.32 pm)

Short Track Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 5000m Relay – Final A (12.44pm)

Short track speed skating: Women’s 1500m – Final B (1.11 pm)

Short track speed skating: Women’s 1500 m – Final A (1.18 hours)

thursday 17 february

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s 1000m (8.30am)

Friday February 18

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s 1000m (8.30am)

Saturday 19 February

Speed ​​skating: men’s mass start, semi-finals (7am)

Skating: Women’s semi-final mass start (7:45 a.m.)

Speed ​​Skating: Men’s Mass Start Final (8:30 a.m.)

Speed ​​Skating: Women’s Mass Start Final (9 o’clock)

*All UK times

Who are the athletes to watch in Beijing?

Team GB has only won one speed skating medal at the Winter Olympics, with Nicky Gooch claiming a Short Track bronze in 1994.

In an effort to end a streak of nearly 30 years without metal, Team GB will look to Cornelius Kersten, the main contender in Beijing. In fact, he will be the first Briton at the Long Track event since 1992.

Next to Kersten are Niall Treacy, Farrell Treacy and Kathryn Thomson, all of whom will be competing in the Short Track event.

Meanwhile, the big news is that Erin Jackson, the world’s top speed skater in the women’s 500 meters, will attend the Games after Brittany Bowe gave up her spot.

Cornelius Kersten will be the first Briton to compete in the Long Track event since 1992

Cornelius Kersten will be the first Briton to compete in the Long Track event since 1992

Cornelius Kersten will be the first Briton to compete in the Long Track event since 1992

Jackson, who has won four of eight World Cup races this season, slipped in a recent race and finished third, meaning she failed to qualify — before her old friend, who finished second, passed her place.

Sven Kramer of the Netherlands has won nine Olympic medals and is looking for more in his fifth consecutive Games.

As for the Short Track events, Korea is the most successful country at the Winter Games and they will want to win the women’s 3000m relay team for the third time in a row.

Choi Min-Jeong, who won gold in PyeongChang and holds the current Olympic record in the 500m, will be looking for another medal in Beijing, although she has been struggling with injuries and poor form lately.

Team GB Short Track Squad: Kathryn Thomson, Farrell Treacy, Niall Treacy

Team GB Long Track selection: Cornelius Kersten

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