Winter Olympics 2018: Guide to short track speed skating

Elise Christie
In 2017, Elise Christie became a triple world champion after victory in the 1000m, 1500m and the overall title at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam
Short speed track skating at XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Gangneung Ice Arena Dates: 10, 13, 17, 20 & 22 Febraury Number of events: 8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

How it works

Depending on the event, four or six skaters race around a tight oval track . With speeds reaching 30mph, crashes are commonplace. Overtaking is allowed but there are strict rules on impeding opponents. Races are held over 500m, 1,000m and 1500m, and there is also a men's and women's relay. It's a knockout format, with the fastest two or three skaters per race qualifying for the next round.

Anything new since Sochi 2014?

No changes.

British prospects

Elise Christie is the reigning overall world champion and a good bet to become the first British woman to win an Olympic short track medal. That would make amends for 2014, when she was also a medal contender but had a nightmare experience and was disqualified in all three of her events.

Who to look out for

Short track is South Korea's most successful Olympic sport, producing 21 of their 26 golds, and the hosts' contenders will include Choi Min-jeong. Look out for Canadian couple Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais - with seven medals between them - whose post-race embraces in 2010 and 2014 captured hearts worldwide. Talking of romance, Elise Christie's boyfriend Sandor Liu Shaolin could win Hungary's first Winter Games medal for 38 years. His brother Shaoang is also a medal contender.

I didn't know that...

Steven Bradbury experienced the highs and lows of short track - in 1992, the Australian lost four litres of blood and needed 111 stitches after a rival's skate ended up in his leg. He later broke his neck in a track crash.

But in 2002, he won one of the most famous short track races in Olympic history - he was trailing way off the pace in last place in the 1,000m final in Salt Lake City when a last-corner pile-up took out the four skaters in front of him, leaving him to cruise over the line to claim an unlikely gold.

Great Britain's medallists

Total: 1 (source: IOC) Gold 0 Silver 0 Bronze 1

Most recent medal

1994: Nicky Gooch - bronze (men's 500m)

How do I get involved?

Fancy giving ice skating a go? Take a look at this Get Inspired guide.

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