Speed skating: Double joy for Singapore short track duo after setting personal bests

Singapore short track skaters Lucas Ng clocked best times of 43.745sec and 1min 29.052sec respectively in the 500m and 1,000m races in Salt Lake City.
Singapore short track skaters Lucas Ng clocked best times of 43.745sec and 1min 29.052sec respectively in the 500m and 1,000m races in Salt Lake City.PHOTO: WILLIAM LAI / SINGAPORE ICE SKATING ASSOCIATION

Singapore short track skaters Lucas Ng and Cheyenne Goh both achieved personal bests over the weekend as they completed the North American legs of the ISU World Cup Short Track 2016/2017.

Ng, 28, clocked best times of 43.745sec and 1min 29.052sec respectively in the 500m and 1,000m races in Salt Lake City. Cheyenne, 17, earned her fastest time of 47.198 in the shorter distance.

He will also compete in Shanghai and Gangneung, the Asian legs of the World Cup, in December.

The latest competition in the United States was the first time since 2013 that Singapore had fielded skaters in both the men's and women's categories of the World Cup.

Cheyenne was thrilled to be racing alongside top skaters Fan Kexin, China's silver medallist in the 1,000m at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and Elise Christie, twice a silver medallist at the World Championships in the event.

"This was my first World Cup competition and it was a fantastic experience racing with top skaters. The race strategies, techniques, energy and adrenaline were amazing. I have learnt a lot from this outing and will apply it for my World Championships," said Cheyenne who is set to be the first Singapore female skater to compete at the ISU World Short Track Championships in Rotterdam in March 2017.

Said Singapore national coach Chun Lee Kyung, a four-time Olympic champion: "Top athletes from around the world converge to compete at the World Cup. I am really proud of our Singapore athletes to be able to achieve commendable standings and clock personal bests in spite of the fierce competition."

Sonja Chong, president of the Singapore Ice Skating Association, agreed.

She said: "Our Singapore athletes have been achieving steady and significant progress, both personally as well as in international standings. We can now set our sights on achieving a major milestone for Singapore short track at the coming Asian Winter Games, where we will be fielding athletes in both the men's and women's categories for the first time."