SOCHI SCENE: Short track spills
SOCHI, Russia (AP) Short track speedskating in Sochi sure is living up to its reputation as roller derby on ice.
During quarterfinals in the men’s 500 meters and women’s 1,000 meters on Friday night, only three of eight heats ended with a clean race. Here’s a list of the spills and penalties as racers circled the same Iceberg Skating Palace track used for figure skating:
MEN’S 500 METERS:
– Heat 1: Russia’s Semen Elistratov bumps a competitor for a shaky finish and a penalty.
– Heat 2: Japan’s Satoshi Sakashita takes a spill just before J.R. Celski tumbles into a wall, but Se Yeong Park is penalized for a bump, allowing Celski to move to the semifinals.
– Heat 3: Russia’s Vladimir Grigorev falls forward and slides sideways, taking out Freek van der Wart of the Netherlands. Grigorev is penalized.
– Heat 4: Clean run with all competitors finishing within 0.51 seconds of one another.
WOMEN’S 1,000 METERS:
– Heat 1: After two false starts, Great Britain’s Elise Christie takes out a block on the first lap. France’s Veronique Pierron then touches her toe to another skater, sending her into a spin against the wall for a penalty.
– Heat 2: Clean run with five skaters on the ice. Canada’s Valerie Maltais wins wire-to-wire, with all skaters finishing within 1 second of one another.
– Heat 3: Italy’s Arianna Fontana slips as she makes the fourth turn on the penultimate lap, earning a penalty, then American Emily Scott tumbles across the finish line, failing to qualify for the semifinals.
– Heat 4: Clean run won by Jessica Smith of the United States, with the competitors spaced within four-tenths of a second.
– By Oskar Garcia – Twitter http://twitter.com/oskargarcia
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu