The emerging athlete considered it a tremendous learning opportunity and rated it his Asian Winter Games highlight.
“For sure he’s an idol,” Capponi said.
“I was pretty intimidated, but in the end I felt alright because I could race my own race and it was quite an awesome opportunity so I took it with both hands and just went with it.”
The Asian Winter Games men’s 10,000 metres was the first time Capponi has competed at this distance and he finished a credible fifth in the final standings. His time of 14:06.42 was 47.86 seconds off Seung-Hoon’s winning time.
“The opportunity doesn’t come around very often as they only happen once at World Cups and once at the World Championships. It’s nice to finally have one and now I can work from this,” he said.
Capponi’s race strategy was to stay with the World Champion skater for as long as he could.
“I missed a change and I ended up having to give way to him because the outside lane always has priority so I lost my rhythm and I lost connection with him.
“After that the plan was to stay on my own rhythm, relax and kick in for the last few laps, like I’ve been training for.
“The lap times were a little slower than I wanted. I would have liked 33’s but I was getting 34’s, but I still got that kick in in the end.”