Bart Swings and Hyo Sook Woo unbeatable.
30.08.11: The Belgian and Korean were the winners in the 10000m Points/Elimination during the first day of the 2011 CIC Worlds in Korea.
The Korean Ki Dong Kwak leads the group during the 10000m Points/Elimination race. Foto ©
The first day of finals at the 2011 CIC Worlds began on time in Yeosu under a burning sun which had a big effect on the performance of the athletes.

The Jr ladies were first up in the 15km eliminations. It was a tough competition with some interesting elimination sprints. At the end of the race, the Asian teams were controlling the race with the Koreans and Taiwanese teams at the front but in the final meters of the race, the Colombian Yenny Serrano put in a big effort to race to the front for the victory. Serrano won the Elimination race in Guarne last year but she was stripped of her medal after testing positive to a banned substance.

Li Mengchu from Taiwan and So Yun Cho completed the podium. The humidity and temperature made this a torturous race. The Iranian Niloufar Mardani and the Ecuadorian Emma Clare finished 12th and 13th respectively in a great performance.

In the Jr men’s race, the South Americans did really well highlighting the growth of the sport in Mexico and Ecuador. The Asian nations fought hard and took the win in the final lap easily pulling away from the rest of the field. Korea controlled the final parts of the race with a 1-2 finish from Min Yong Park and Sang Cheol Lee. The Taiwanese skater Chen Yancheng got the bronze.

Next up, the seniors in the 10km points/elim. It was a very tactical race with the Korean legend Hyo Sook Woo who has won this race many times before dominating the event. With 15 points, she beat Colombian Kelly Martinez on 11 points. The Taiwanese team tried for a breakaway a few times but they couldn’t quite manage it and Fan Chihling ended up 3rd with 7 points. Catherine Peñan is back this year from Chile and finished a very respectable 5th.

Bart Swings kicked off his campaign in the best way possible with a win in his first race. Only 1 point separated the top 4 athletes in a very tight competition.

The race was very fast from the start with some strong attacks to get early points. The Frenchman Yann Guyader was the most active skater in the first half of the race followed by the Italian Fabio Francolini. The next attacks came from New Zealand’s Scott Arlidge. Cifuentes from Colombia began to accumulate points and then Swings took over in the 2nd half of the race. Arlidge and the Korean Son Geung Seong did a breakaway for 8 laps where they got enough points fight for a medal.

In the last lap, the Spaniard Patxi Peula crossed the finish line first getting 3 valuable points but the focus was behind him to see who would podium. Swings, who came second in the last lap, got 11 points to get a brilliant victory in Yeosu. Arlidge, Seong and Guyader were behind him tied in 10 points each.
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