Aussie short track supremo Deanna Lockett would have been wanting to add another World Cup medal at Shanghai’s Crown Indoor Stadium this weekend and whilst that wasn’t to be, she looks to have solidified her claim on two Olympic qualifications for the 1500m and 1000m, with only the 500 metre berth still in balance.
Lockett’s favoured 1500m again was her standout result finishing tenth in the final standings after making the B Final and picking up fourth in a rocky race, which saw her being wiped out with half a lap to go.
A penalty to the British racer resulted in an adjusted fourth place to Lockett and she picked up another World Cup top ten. Despite the knock out in the final lap, the Queenslander is currently ranked seventh in the world over the 1500m.
Penalties were the name of the game for the Australian who was on the receiving end in the 1000m semi-final and unable to make it the final, yet had done enough to secure that distance next February.
"I’m a bit disappointed with this weekends results, but I feel I have learnt from it and will take all the experience I can can so I’m as ready as I can be for the Games," Lockett said.
Her least favoured 500m metres, which Lockett has said she would use to knock out the nervy cobwebs at next year’s Winter Olympics fared better than in previous years with qualification through the preliminaries and into the heats, giving her a current ranking of 35th in that distance.
“Deanna had a good third World Cup by getting to the semi-finals for her 1000m and also to the B final for the 1500m,” said Australian short track coach Lachlan Hay.
“She will be looking to relax a little more next week now after locking in a spot in each distance for the Olympics.” Her racing has continued to improve, and her confidence is always growing, which is something we’ve been working on.”
The Shanghai World Cup was a mixed result for the men with the best result coming from Keanu Blunden who placed 32nd in the 500m. Andy Jung was 38th and Pierre Boda 42nd in a 71-strong field.
Olympic qualification is the top 36 in 1500m and top 32 in 1000m and 500m, making Blunden’s result in the 500m all the more vital. The best results from three of the four World Cups are tallied to determine the top 36 and 32 respectively.
In the Shanghai 1000m, Pierre Boda was the best placed Australian in 42nd, with Andy Jung 50th with Alex Bryant incurring a DQ. The 1500m looked promising for Jung until he was penalised in the heats and had to settle for 42nd. Blunden finished 54th and Boda 57th.
“On the men’s side it was a little disappointing with no one qualifying through to the main competition or past heats,” coach Hay said.
“The men looked a little tired this competition but still showed signs of good racing and hopefully a change in conditions next week will suit them.”
“Keanu Blunden showed improvement from the first two world cups and raced well was just a little out skated in the last few laps. Andy and Pierre showed good speed but just not the usual strength in the closing stages.”
“Alex was unfortunately disqualified in his race and the relay the team was out skated by a strong field.”
The fourth and final Olympic qualifying Short Track World Cup will be contested in Seoul, Korea from 16 to 19 November.