BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- China Open speed skating event, the first international competition of the Beijing 2022 test series, went into its second-day competition on Saturday as all elements of the competition were tested.
Pandemic prevention was one of the focuses of this competition at the National Speed Skating Oval, known as the "Ice Ribbon", which sees athletes from China, the Netherlands and South Korea compete in in 12 events including men's and women's 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, team pursuit and mass start as well as women's 3,000m and men's 5,000m from Oct. 8 to 10.
Athletes were asked to put on the medals themselves as one COVID-19 prevention measures among others.
"I prefer other people to put the medal around my neck," said men's 1,000m winner Jeong Seon-kyo of South Korea jokingly when asked to compare two different awarding methods.
Youth Olympic champion Isabel Grevelt of the Netherlands took the women's 1,000m victory.
As an estimate of 2,000 overseas athletes, team officials, technical officials and timing and scoring personnel are expected for the test series from October 5 to December 31 in the three competition zones of Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. They will be under closed-loop management upon arriving in China with case-by-case policies for different venues, according to the organizers.
At the Ice Ribbon, all competition-related people, including the athletes, volunteers and the media members, are asked to wear medical N95 facial masks and the media need to provide negative nucleic acid result within 48 hours upon entering the stadium. Athletes will take virtual interviews inside the loop.
"We have divided the entire stadium into two parts, inside the closed-loop and outside the loop," said Wu Xiaonan, chairman of the National Speed Skating Oval.
The competition will conclude on Sunday with men's and women's 1,500m and mass start. Enditem