Short Track Speed Skating
A feature of Short Track Speed Skating is that in contrast to the Speed Skating that is held on a 400 m track, competition is generally based not on times but on positions in each race. It has elements that are similar to bicycle racing, and strategies between competitors decide the winners.
Four skaters at a time race around in an anti-clockwise direction an oval track which measures 111.12 m around. The curve radius is very small, and competitors lean so far into the curves that their inside hands touch the ice. As there are also many accidents such as contact and falls among competitors, skaters must wear helmets, knee-pads and gloves. The skates are made so that the blade can be moved to the left or right with a slide in two places.
In addition to speed, a key factor is th strategic techniques based on knowing the characteristics of one's opponents. In addition, as skaters are competing for place finished, the luck of the draw has a great impact.
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Copyright 1998 The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun