Olympics-Short track-Schulting’s temper to be tested in Beijing – Metro US

Olympics-Short track-Schulting’s temper to be tested in Beijing

FILE PHOTO: ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
FILE PHOTO: ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships

BEIJING (Reuters) – Dutch short track star Suzanne Schulting, known for being hot blooded in the chaos of speed skating, will be put to the test at the Beijing Olympics where jockeying for position makes contact and crashes inevitable.

The 24-year-old won the 1,000 metres short track title at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, where she burst into the limelight.

Since then, Schulting’s progression has been steady, until she won all the events she entered at the world championships – 1,500m, 1,000m, 500m and 3,000m relay – although several top nations, such as China and South Korea, skipped the competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only Canadian Sylvie Daigle, however, had achieved that feat before her.

“After I became an Olympic champion, I was like ‘OK, now I have to prove to the world, and to myself, that I’m also able to win more,” said Schulting, whose main asset it that she has the speed to get in front of the pack early on and avoid chaos.

“Recognition makes her keep performing at a high level,” said national coach Jeroen Otter. “She realises like no other that what is good today is not good enough tomorrow.”

Fellow short track speed skater Sjinkie Knegt, a two-time Olympic medallist, said Schulting was a mix of dedication and bad temper.

“Suzanne has an enormous drive and determination – I admire that. But she’s also temperamental and leaves her things lying around,” he was quoted as telling Dutch newspaper NRC.

“Competitors can catch her on her weakness, irritate her with it,” her former team mate Jorien ter Mors said.

“Suzanne wants to be the best and the fastest. Whether it’s a race, or a training session. If she loses she starts cursing and swearing. Like: this is not fair. I think that also characterises a real champion.”

Schulting will face tough competition from hosts China in the mixed team relay on Saturday.

In individual events, her main rival in the 500 metres will be Italy’s Arianna Fontana, who tends to overperform at the Olympics, while South Korea’s Lee Yubin and Choi Minjeong will also be a threat.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)