It was a case of what might have been for Liam O’Brien at this weekend’s ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating in Beijing, China as a crucial call did not go his way.
O’Brien began his racing in Heat 1 of the 1500 metres quarterfinals on the opening day of competition. He was contending from the get go and was in the lead with three laps to go when two skaters made their move to go ahead of him. Unfortunately, there was contact and O’Brien crashed out. In the referee’s video review, the Irish skater was deemed to not have given space at the end of the straight and was penalised. He would take no further part in the distance.
Next up for O’Brien was Heat 7 of the 500m (2) Heats. It was a quick race from the off and, even though he finished fifth, his time of 42.253 was a mere four one-hundredths of a second shy of his personal best.
On the final day of the event, O’Brien lined up for the 500m (2) Repechage Quarterfinals. He was drawn in Heat 1 and came home in a time of 43.566 to wrap up his racing in Beijing.
“I’m happy with my progress from World Cups 1 and 2,” O’Brien said. “I felt much more competitive in the 1500 and I thought I was unlucky to receive a penalty. The focus shifts to improving once again in Seoul.”