The ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships started in Bormi today ©Getty Images

The early qualifiers saw plenty of favourites safely through to the latter stages of the 1500  and 3000 metres relays at the International Skating Union World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Bormio. 

In the men’s 1500m quarter-finals, Japan’s Ibuki Hayashi topped qualifying  as his two team-mates also made it through to the next round at Ice Stadium Bormio, with China, South Korea and Russia all having three qualifiers. 

Hosts Italy saw both of their athletes qualify, with Latvia and The Netherlands also qualifying all their athletes.

Britain’s Niall Treacy was the only athlete to be penalised throughout the seven heats after tripping the United States’ Andrew Heo in the closing stages.

In the women’s 1500m quarter-finals, Slovakia’s Petra Rusnáková posted the quickest time in the heats and will head into the latter stages as one of the medal favourites.

South Korea’s three skaters all won their heats, joining all three of Canada’s skaters in the semi-finals.

China will have only one representative in the next round after Yichao Wang was penalised in heat three.

Poland, United States and The Netherlands were successful in getting both of their skaters through to the semi-finals.

In the women’s 3000m relay, South Korea qualified fastest from the quarter-finals in a close finish with The Netherlands in a time of 4 min 15.741sec.

The United States looked set to go through before a collision with Japan saw their team disqualified in heat three - won by Russia, with Poland and the Japanese also progressing.

Hungary were also penalised in South Korea’s heat which saw Canada join the two quickest teams in the semi-finals.

Heat two was the slowest as Italy won it from Belarus as Ukraine and Kazakhstan were eliminated.

In the men’s event, The Netherlands were clear winners ahead of US in the first heat with Italy and France advancing from a slow heat two along with Canada who were given an advance to the next round after a crash.

Heat three favourites South Korea and Japan had no issues qualifying and join Russia and Hungary from heat four in the semi-final.