In the first quarterfinal the three young South Korean medal contenders, Hwang Dae-Heon, Seo Yi-Ra, and Lim Hyo-Jun, face-off with only two able to advance. Entering PyeongChang, Lim was the least decorated of the three young skaters, but that changed with him winning the 1500m. The race is wide open with all three having had success in the event.
John-Henry Krueger has his hands full in his heat. Krueger will race 1500m silver and bronze medalists, Sjinkie Knegt (NED) and Semen Elistratov (OAR). Given the unpredictability of short track anything can happen, but Krueger will have to be at his best with Knegt and Elistratov.
Han Tianyu (CHN), J.R. Celski (USA) are Liu Shaoang (HUN) are the biggest names that did not advance out of the heats. Tiunyu won the the silver medal in the 1500. Shaoang won the silver medal in the 1000m at worlds.
Itzak de Laat (NED) and Roberto Pukitis (LAT) are two names to keep an eye on. The duo rather surprinshly advanced to the quarterfinal. De Laat won his heat defeating Han Tianyu and Seo. Pukitis finished second in his group to reach the quarterfinal. In 2017, Pukitis won bronze in the 1000m at the 2017 European Championships.