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.
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.
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