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 500m Short Track events at this years winter games. All Times Eastern
Men's Short Track (500 Meters)-- Feb 18 Men's Heats (5:17 AM) -- Feb 21 Men's Quarterfinals (11:30 am), Semifinals (12:15 pm) & Finals (12:46 pm)
Viktor Ahn (Russia) comes in as the favorite with his odds being at 11/8. After competing for South Korea for most of his career, in 2011 he became a citizen of Russia and now races for that country's team. 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.
Charles Hamelin (Canada) is next at 9/4 odds. Hamelin won gold in the 2010 Vancouver games in the 500, and should he win gold again, he'll be the first ever to win in back-to-back Olympics. He is also a 2 time world champion over the 500 m distance, having won those championships in 2007 and 2009. This is his 3rd Olympics so experience is on his side.
Wenhao Liang (China) is next at 6/1 odds. Not allot of info on this skater. He did appear in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver but didn't medal in the games. Still he is one of the favorites to take the gold in this event.
Wu Dajing (China) is next at 13/2 odds. Wu has two first place finishes in his World Cup career, and both came from the 2014 and 2013 seasons. In the 2013 World Cup season, he finished second in the overall standings for the 500m and has five World Cup medals in the distance, which is his best.
The absence of Apolo Anton Ohno has opened the door for J.R. Celski (22/1) to claim the throne as the biggest United State short track speedskating star. Celski claimed the bronze in the 1,500 and also competed in men's relay team that won the bronze in Vancouver. Celski's breakthrough performance was at the 2009 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships where he won five medals (two gold, one silver, two bronze). He has a bright future in the sport.
Rest Of The Men's 500 Meter Short Track Odds... Vladmir Grigorev - Russia (13/2)... Jean Olivier - Canada (16/1)... Freek Van Der Wart - Netherlands (25/1)... Charle Cournoyer - Canada (33/1)... Han-Bin Lee - South Korea (33/1)... Robert Seifert - Germany (33/1)... Sin DaWoon - South Korea (33/1)
Prediction: I will go with the Canandin, Charles Hamelin in this one. He has the experience in the Olympics and did win gold in this event in the 2010 games. As far as the American, Celski, I look for him to have a good showing. I don't see him taking the gold, but I do expect him to take either the bronze or silver.
Women's Short Track (500 Meters)-- Feb 10 Women's Heats (5:30 pm) -- Feb 12 Women's Quarterfinals (8:00 pm), Semifinals (9:15 pm) & Finals (10:00 pm)
Kexin Fan (China) is the favorite in this event at 13/8 odds. Wang Meng was to be the favorite in this event till she broke her ankle in January. Now the hope of China falls on the shoulders of Fan Kexin, who won a gold medal in the 3000 m relay event and a silver medal in the 500 m event in the 2012 short Track World cup. Kexin earned two silvers and a bronze behind Meng in the World Cup in 2013.
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.
Arianna Fontana (Italy) checks in at 11/2 odds. She won bronze in the 3000m relay at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino. She placed 11th in the 500m and 6th in the 1000m. The 500m is her best event and she won the bronze in this event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Shim Suk Hee (South Korea) is next at 11/2 odds. She did win a gold medal in the 1500m at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and she also won the gold medal in the 1500m, as a teenager, at the Shanghai Short Track World Cup in 2012.
Katherine Reutter was one of the top Americans of all-time in the sport, but injuries have forced here to retire. Alyson Dudek and Heather Richardson both enter at 100/1 making the U.S. very long shots at medaling in this event.
Prediction: Im going to go with Arianna Fontana to upset Fan and Park. She has the experience and this is here best event. I don't see any American women medaling in this event.
Many thanks to Wikipedia, Bleacher Report and the Sports Network for providing the info needed for this article.
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