Short Track Speed Skating

Suzanne Schulting takes double gold at Dordrecht Worlds

Olympic champs Schulting, Charlie Hamelin and Shaoang Liu shone as the first medals were awarded at the 2021 World Championships.

By Ken Browne ·

Olympic champions Suzanne Schulting, Charles Hamelin, and Shaoang Liu took gold at the 2021 Short Track Speed Skating World Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands on Saturday (6 March).

Home star Schulting opened her account in the 1500m before taking victory again in the 500m.

Five-time Olympic medallist Hamelin claimed his 14th world title in the 1500m with the 36-year-old Canadian showing age is no obstacle to success.

And PyeongChang 2018 relay gold medallist Liu celebrated his first world title in the men's 500m final.

Schulting, who was only 20 when she won Netherlands' first ever short track Olympic gold medal at PyeongChang, now has six World Championship golds to her name.

Emotional double success for Schulting

In the first final of the day, Schulting took the lead in the 1500m race with five laps to go and never looked back.

She held off Canada's 2018 world junior champion Courtney Sarault with the 20-year-old a rising star of short track.

The Netherlands took gold and bronze with Xandra Velzeboer in third place.

Schulting soon doubled down, claiming her second gold of the day in the 500m.

A quick start gave her the inside track, and that was all she needed as she crossed the line in 42.661s ahead of Italy's 500m gold medallist from PyeongChang, Arianna Fontana (42.719).

Selma Poutsma helped paint the podium mostly orange again as the 21-year-old Dutch blade runner finished third.

After the race, Schulting was overcome by emotion at taking the title held by team-mate Lara van Ruijven who died tragically last July aged 27 from an autoimmune disease.

Hamelin claims third 1500m world title

What do you do when you've won it all? If you're Charles Hamelin you win it all again. And again.

Hamelin - 500m Olympic champion at Vancouver 2010 and 1500m gold medallist at Sochi 2014 - was back doing his thing in Dordrecht and celebrating his third 1500m world title as if it were his first.

Biding his time in fifth and sixth position towards the start of the race, Hamelin made his move with six laps to go and held on to win from Dutch speedster Itzhak de Laat with Semen Elistratov of the Russian Skating Union in third.

Maiden gold for Hungary's Shaoang Liu

In the men's 500m final, Hungary's Shaoang Liu came out on top, winning his first world title after five previous podium finishes.

Gold was worth the wait for 22-year-old Liu who was part of Hungary's winning 5000m relay team at PyeongChang.

Liu won the race in 40.524s with Elistratov (40.603) upgrading his 1500m bronze to silver.

Italy's Pietro Sighel was third with a time of 40.673.

Despite the lack of a crowd and traditional short track powerhouses like China, South Korea and Great Britain due to the COVID-19 situation, the World Championships are providing plenty of thrills and spills.

Sunday (7 March) sees the men's and women's 1000m, the men's 5000m relay and the women's 3,000m relay with Schulting holding every chance of adding to her gold medal tally.

Stay tuned!

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