Alau Ice Palace Hosts World Sprint Skating Championship, Kazakh Skaters Fail to Reach Podium

ASTANA – The Alau Ice Palace hosted the 46th International Skating Union (ISU) World Sprint Speed Skating Championship for the first time Feb. 28-March 1 in the hope that the hometown venue would give an advantage to the Kazakh skaters. The home athletes, however, were unsuccessful in reaching the podium.

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Yekaterina Aidova was the closest Kazakh skater to a medal, yet she was not completely satisfied with her results. Fellow countrymen Denis Kuzin and Roman Krech also participated in the events.

“I didn’t finish the first 500-metre race as well as I could have,” she admitted in a March 1 interview during the competition, as cited by vesti.kz. “Perhaps I got too nervous and eventually burnt out. In the second 1,000-metre race I was determined and did better. Had I been as determined in the 500-metre race, I would have competed for the medals. It’s a pity that [I was unable to do better] but I accomplished my goal to be in the top 10. Let’s see what today’s results will bring. The best skaters are competing here so it’s not easy [to beat them].”

Kazakhstan’s Sochi 2014 hopeful Kuzin finished the 1,000-metre race in sixth place, while Krech ended in 19th.Ironically the skaters took the same positions, but reversed, in the 500-metre race: Krech was sixth and Kuzin 19th.

Final results:

1,000 metre distance, men

1. Pavel Kulizhnikov, Russia — 1:09.06
2. Alexei Yesin, Russia — +0.35
3. Havard Lorentzen, Norway — +0.37

6. Denis Kuzin — +0.69
19.Roman Krech — +2.16

1,000 metre distance, women
1. Brittany Bowe, USA — 1:14.50
2. Heather Richardson, USA — +0.56
3. Li Shishi, China — +1.35

4. Yekaterina Aidova — +1.51