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Short Track

Short Track is another type of Speed Skating. It takes place on a shorter track, around 111.12m, and 4-8 skaters compete in each heat.


The skaters are very close together and the turns are sharper, but still at high speeds. The sharper turns mean that the skaters lean inside and drag their hands along the ice for extra traction, using gloves which have beads on the fingertips. All this makes the sport very unpredictable as crashes and collisions are very common, and often result in huge upsets.

source: Getty Images


The short distance events are the 500m and 1000m, in which 4 skaters compete in each heat. There are also the 1500m (6-8 skaters per heat) and the Team Relay (3000m for women and 5000m for men). The Team Relay is not a conventional relay, but is more like the Madison in Track Cycling. The race 45 laps long. A team is made of 4 skaters and while one races, the others pace alongside inside the central area of the track, waiting to takeover. Every 1.5 laps, the next skater comes onto the track and is propelled forward by the outgoing skater.