Chinese skater Dajing Wu almost broke his own world record today in Calgary ©Getty Images

The first event of the new International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track season began in Calgary in Canada with a bang today as the world record in the men’s 500 metres was almost broken during the qualifying races.

China’s Dajing Wu crossed the line in 39.777sec, just short of his own record of 39.584, though else where there was a common theme of false starts.

In a moment described as “shocking” by the ISU, Canadian skater and world champion Charles Hamelin received a penalty for a second false start in his 500m race, and that was not the only false start in that race alone.

Canada's Charles Hamelin was penalised for a false start in his race ©Getty Images
Canada's Charles Hamelin was penalised for a false start in his race ©Getty Images

Hungary’s Alex Varnyu was also penalised, meaning he will not be able to race again during the repechage tomorrow.

The local crowd still had things to cheer however as Alison Desmarais qualified in both her 500m and 1000m races.

Elsewhere, Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting won her 1500m race by almost half a lap, while the South Korean team used an outside passing tactic of starting at the back before making one, large outside pass to get to the front, in their races.

It proved very successful.

A mixed gender relay brought the day to a close, an event making its debut in the short track World Cup and it caused some confusion, with athletes in some cases not completing enough laps.

In one race France made exactly that mistake and were penalised for it.

Racing will begin again tomorrow morning with action at 9:30am local time in the women’s 500m repechages.