Mixed Fortunes For O’Brien At Seoul World Cup

Liam O’Brien rounded out his racing for the calendar year of 2023 as he took on the ISU World Cup Short Speed Skating event in Seoul, South Korea this weekend.

On the first day of competition, O’Brien lined up for Heat 12 of the 1000 metres preliminaries. He went to the front of the field with seven laps to go, but on the third lap contact made with a fellow competitor disrupted his rhythm. He ended up coming home in fifth with a time of 1:33.118. He next participated in Heat 4 of the 1500 metres (2) distance where he again made a positive move to lead the race with 11 laps left. However, his time in pole position was short lived and he eventually finished fifth in a time of  2:23.184.

It was on to the 1000m repechage quarterfinals on the second day of the competition for O’Brien where he was drawn in Heat 1. Coming up to seven laps to go he was contending, but another skater made contact from behind with him and he crashed out of the race. He got up and crossed the line in fifth place with a time of  2:05.795. The skater who made contact with him was penalised and O’Brien was advanced to the repechage semifinals. Racing in Heat 1, he managed to avoid getting tangled up in an incident early on in the race and kept himself in contention right until the bell rang for the final where he made his move. Unfortunately, he was deemed to have committed an infraction in positioning himself for the win and was penalised by the event referee. He was classified 28th for the distance.

The third day of competition saw O’Brien take to the ice in the Mokdong Arena for Heat 2 of the 1500m (2) repechage quarterfinals. He raced positively throughout and tried to make a move on the third from last lap. However, a bump with a competitor put him off and he came home in fifth place in a time of 2:31.692. He achieved 36th place in the classification for the distance.