Capital gains for China's speedsters

By SUN XIAOCHEN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-12 09:24
Share - WeChat

Both veterans took long breaks from competitive action to recover from long-standing injuries following Beijing 2022, where they were members of China's gold-winning 2,000m mixed relay team.

They showed that they still have plenty of gas left in the tank as they enter another Olympic cycle.

Fan, a five-time 500m world champion who won her last international title in 2017, was particularly emotional after proving on home ice that, at the age 30, she can still keep up with her much younger rivals in the sprint discipline.

"I just love this rink so much. I felt like just going back in time," Fan said after kissing the ice at the arena following her runner-up finish in the 500m final A on Saturday in a repeat of her gesture during the mixed relay medal ceremony at Beijing 2022.

The three-time Olympian capped her encouraging weekend with a second medal, a bronze, in the second 500m race on Sunday.

Although failing to reach any individual finals in Beijing, Ren contributed to two relay medals last week and rekindled his competitive spirit as he attempts to rediscover his best form.

"The individual race didn't go as I'd expected this time as I am not yet fully recovered in terms of endurance and strength," said Ren, who finished fifth in his 1,500m semifinal heat to miss the final cut.

"There is a silver lining behind the disappointment, because I now have a better idea of what areas I need to improve so I can come back quicker," said Ren.

To the excitement of the sport's diehard fans, the Beijing race has witnessed the rise of China's next-gen skaters, highlighted by three youngsters claiming their first individual World Cup medals. Those results raised hopes for a strong campaign at the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Games.

"To be able to finish on the podium together with my idol Fan Kexin at home was a dream come true. I definitely will build on the momentum here to keep working hard and learning from the veterans to be better," teenager Wang Ye said after winning a bronze in the women's 500m on Saturday.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5   
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349