ASTANA – Kazakh athlete Abzal Azhgaliyev finished second in the 500 metres at the season-opening World Cup Short Track Nov. 2-4 in Calgary, Canada.
Finishing the race in 40.136 seconds, Azhgaliyev placed second after Wu Dajing, China’s 24-year-old champion and gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, whose result was 39.915 seconds.
Shaolin Sandor Liu of Hungary finished third.
This weekend’s World Cup featured 500-metre, 1000-metre and 1500-metre races in both the men’s and women’s events at the Calgary Olympic Oval.
There were a women’s 3000-metre relay, a men’s 5000-metre relay and a 2000-metre mixed gender relay.
The season start was good, said Azhgaliyev.
“The first day, I reached semi-finals, but unfortunately without a medal. In the final day of the first stage, I made it to the finals and took second place. In the final, I was racing with three Olympic champions. I hope there are more wins to come,” he said.
Another Kazakh short tracker Yerkebulan Shamukhanov finished fifth in the men’s 1000-metre race.
Two teams from Kazakhstan took part in the relay event finishing fifth. The women’s team consisted of Anastasiya Krestova, Assel Taishmanova, Olga Tikhonova and Kim A Jong, while the second mixed team included Azhgaliyev, Denish Nikisha, Anastasiya Krestova and Kim A Jong.
The next World Cup event will take place Nov. 9-11 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Almaty will host a World Cup stage Dec. 7-9 for the first time in Kazakhstan.
The season includes the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships, the ISU Junior World Short Track Speed Skating Championships and the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.