With Saturday’s news turning out to be premature, Maliszewska eventually won the World Cup at the distance of 500 metres on Sunday.
News of Maliszewska winning the World Cup already broke out on Saturday after she claimed silver in the penultimate race of the season held in Turin, Italy.
However, the final standing was not confirmed until the last event, taking place the following day.
This was due to a set of specific, and not uncontroversial, regulations governing short track. These stipulate that each athlete’s two worst results in the season do not count for the overall classification. For the Polish skater, who made it to the final during each event, the rule meant a potential loss of more points than for her second placed challenger in the overall classification Lara van Ruijven, who registered poorer results.
Therefore, for Ms Maliszewska to win the title she could not allow Ms van Ruijven to win the event without herself claiming the silver.
Emotions were running high throughout the last event. Then, in the semi-final race, Maliszewska and van Ruijven faced each other in a direct confrontation. The Polish skater started the race poorly and was in the last, fifth position, far behind her rivals.
The concern of the Polish fans, thankfully, was premature. Van Ruijen failed to capitalise on Maliszewska’s poorer performance and finished just in front of her, in fourth place. Therefore, both skaters failed to reach the final race.
The 500 metres World Cup is now in the hands of Natalia Maliszewska without any further doubts.