The 2014 Winter Olympics are here and we move our previews to Short Track Speed Skating, which has been an Olympic event since the 1992 games in France. Over the years the event has been dominated mostly by the United States, South Korea, China and Canada, with those 4 countries taking 104 of the possible 120 medals since the 1992 games. Below is the Men's & Women's start times and odds for the 1500m Short Track events at this years winter games. All Times Eastern
Men's Short Track (1500 Meters)-- Feb 10 Men's Heats (4:45 am), Semifinals (6:10 am) & Finals (7:15 am)
Charles Hamelin (Canada) is the favorite in this event at 5/2 odds. Hamelin is about as ready for Sochi as any skater in the world, as he comes in having won the gold in the World Cup in Sochi, in 2013 in both the 500 meters and 1,000 meters, which gives him a sense of how Sochi's ice will play. This is his 3rd Olympics so there is plenty of experience on his side.
Lee Han-Bin (South Korea) comes in at 11/4 odds. He won the bronze in the 2008 World Junior Championships and is currenty ranked second in the World Cup standings at this distance.
Viktor Ahn (Russia) is next at 9/2 odds. Ahn is one of the most accomplished Short Track Speed Skaters of all time, as he won three gold medals and a bronze medal in 2006 Winter Olympics, and he is also a five-time Overall World Champion from 2003–2007. He is currently ranked 3rd in the World Cup standings at this distance.
Sin Da-Woon (South Korea) comes in at 5/1 Odds to take home the gold. Sin won two distances and the overall classification at the 2013 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.
J.R.Celski (USA) is at 10/1 odds. Celski won a bronze medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and is seventh in the World Cup standings. His bronze medal in the 1500 m was a result of two Korean skaters crashing into each other. This will be a highly contested event and i would not be surprised at all to see him on the podium.
Other Notable Men's 1500 Meter Short Track Odds... Sjinkie Knegt - Netherlands (8/1)... Francois Hamelin - Canada (16/1)... Park Se-Yeong - South Korea (18/1)
Prediction: This will be a wide open event with any of the top 8 being able to grab the gold here. I will go with Russia's Viktor Ahn to grab the gold in this event, while JR Celski of the USA will find a way to make it to the podium as well.
Women's Short Track (1500 Meters)-- Feb 15 Women's Semifinals (6:15 am) & Finals (7:10 am)
Shim Suk-Hee (South Korea) is the favorite to take the gold in this event at 1/1 odds. Suk-Hee Shim is about as sure a thing as there is in short track in the 1,500 meters. She has 30,000 points in the World Cup, while her closest competitor has just 19,342 (that would be her teammate Alang Kim.).
Park Seung-Hi (South Korea) is next at 4/1 odds. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, she competed in four events. In her first event, the 500 m, she was disqualified in the quarterfinals.Three days later, she competed in the 1500 m and despite setting an Olympic record in the semifinals, she finished third in the finals. In the 3000 m relay, her team finished first but was disqualified by one of the track judges, while she won the bronze in the 1000 m.
Alang Kim (South Korea) in next at 5/1 odds and has the best shot at upending her teammate, but as stated above she is a little over 10,000 points behind Shim Suk-Hee in the world cup standings and that is a big gap. Still she is the 2nd best in the world at this distance and should Shim slip up at all then she will be right there to take the gold.
Yang Zhou (China) is next at 7.1 odds. She won the gold medal in the 1500 m event at the 2010 Winter Olympics and is currently the world and Olympic record holder at this distance. Zhou added another gold medal on the Chinese 3000 m relay team.
Jessica Smith is the USA's best chance to medal in this event but at 33/1 she is a bit of a long shot, especially with how stacked the top of this heat is.
Other Notable Women's 1500 Meter Short Track Odds... Valerie Maltais - Canada (14/1)... Jorien Ter Mors - Netherlands (20/1)... Jianrou Li - China (25/1)... Bernadett Heidum - Hungary (33/1)... Elise Christie - Great Britain (33/1)
Prediction: Well I have to go with Shim Suk-Hee in this one. She is the best in the world and will prove it by taking another gold in these Olympics.
Many thanks to Wikipedia, Bleacher Report and the Sports Network for providing the info needed for this article.
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