Short track preview: Maame Biney returns to action


There were no major surprises in the women’s 500m qualification heats.

How to watch: 

Quarterfinal: Tuesday, Feb.13 at 5:00 a.m. ET

Live Stream

Semifinal: Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6:11 a.m. ET

Live Stream

Final: Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7:07 a.m. ET

Live Stream

Takeaways from the qualification heats:

  • One notable name left out was former overall world champion and three-time Olympic medalist Shim Suk-Hee. The 500m is Shim’s worse event and she will now focus on the 1000m and 1500m.
  • The 500m Olympic record was broken twice in the qualification heats. First by Elise Chrisite and then in the following heat by Choi Min-Jeong. “I felt I had more than that to give and that’s exciting and I normally also get faster through rounds. I’m excited to see what I can do Tuesday (semifinals and final),” Christie said following the race.
  • Olympic debutant Maame Biney showed poise in her first Olympic race. The 18-year old was in a qualification heat with Olympic veterans Fan Kexin and Kim A-Lang and was able to hold off a late push by Kim.

The contenders:

Fan Kexin, China: Fan has won six world medals in this distance. She had a less promising showing this in the fall of 2017, failing to finish higher than fifth in this distance at any of the four World Cups.In PyeongChang, Fan will look to continue her nation’s streak in this event; a Chinese woman has won the gold medal in this event at each of the last four Games.

Choi Min-Jeong, South Korea: Choi finished on the 500m podium at two of four World Cups this fall, including winning the event at the Budapest World Cup. 

Marianne St-Gelais, Canada: St-Gelais has won silver in this event at the last two World Championships. The 27-year-old had a slow start to the Olympic season due to a concussion that she sustained in August, but rallied back to win the 500m at the Dordrecht World Cup. Recently, St-Gelais has had the most consistent success of her career since the 2014 Sochi Games

Elise Christie, United Kingdom: Christie the reigning overall world champion, and should be a top threat having placed second in the 500m World Cup rankings last season. Four years ago in Sochi, she had a tumultuous Olympic experience. In the final of this event, she attempted a pass in the second turn and crashed, taking two other skaters down with her.

Maame Biney: At the U.S. Olympic Trials in December, Biney became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic short track team when she won the 500m. At 18-years old Biney does not have much experience at this level, but did win a bronze in the 500m at last season’s World Junior Championships

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