Host skater Suzanne Schulting took two gold medals at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, the Netherlands on Saturday.
With the absence of athletes from China and South Korea, Schulting, the winner of the overall title at the 2019 World Championship, came into the tournament as the hot favorite in the women’s events.
The 23-year-old did not disappoint, taking victory in the 1,500m final before finishing first in the 500m race.
Schulting paid an emotional tribute to former teammate Lara van Ruijven, who passed away at the age of 27 last year after falling ill during a training camp in France.
Van Ruijven won the 500m title at the 2019 World Championships. She was also a member of the Dutch 3,000m relay team that won bronze at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I really wanted to become world champion in the 500m to make sure we kept the title within the Dutch team. That really was my main goal this season, and I am super, super proud of it,” Schulting was quoted by the International Skating Union website.
In the men’s events, Liu Shaoang from Hungary clinched his first World Championship title in the 500m race, but was eliminated from the 1,500m final after a clash, while the 36-year-old Canadian Charles Hamelin won the race.
“I didn’t know how long I would continue, but I hoped for the next Olympics,” said the three-time Olympic champion. “To win the 1,500m is the first big step to show what I can do next year.”