Thursday 18 August 2022

Silver for Schulting as veteran Fontana edges 500m final

Suzanne Schulting comes up just short as Arianna Fontana (l) celebrates. Photo: ANP/Vincent Jannink

Suzanne Schulting had to settle for silver in her first short track final in Beijing as she was outsmarted by defending champion Arianna Fontana.

Schulting got off to a faster start but the 31-year-old Italian found a way past her with less than two laps to go and held on to win by 0.09 seconds.

The other two Dutch contenders, Xandra Velzeboer and Selma Poutsma, were eliminated in the quarter-finals, with Velzeboer disqualified for an illegal overtaking move.

The victory gave Fontana her 10th medal of an Olympic career spanning five Games, making her the most successful short track competitor in history.

‘She’s slipped past me on the inside a few times in World Cup races, Schulting told NOS after the race. ‘If you’re up against Fontana in the final you know things are going to happen.’

‘I was so close, at a distance that’s not really my distance, but it’s silver. I’m happy with that.’

Schulting will hope to defend her Olympic title at 1,000m in Friday’s final and has another chance of gold in the 1,500m next Wednesday.

In the men’s events Izaak de Boer finished fifth in the 1,000m after winning the B final, while Sjinkie Knegt was disqualified in the quarter-finals for causing a crash on the last lap.

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