Xandra Velzeboer of The Netherlands, front, defended her women's 500m title at the World Short Track Championships ©Getty Images

Xandra Velzeboer defended her women's 500 metres title as part of a Dutch double on the first day of finals at the International Skating Union World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Seoul.

Velzeboer dominated the 500m competition at the Mokdong Ice Rink, and led a Dutch podium sweep in the final as the only athlete to clock under 42 seconds.

She triumphed in 41.977sec, with the 2021 world champion and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics silver medallist in this distance Suzanne Schulting placing second with a time of 42.450.

"This is unbelievable, just amazing. I’m so happy and relieved that I managed to do it again," Velzeboer said.

"When I found out I made it onto the podium together with my team-mates, I felt relieved once more.

"I mean, this is just amazing.

"I did it last year and I became even faster over the past season, so I knew it was possible.

"Retaining my title was the ultimate goal for this year."

Suzanne Schulting of The Netherlands clinched victory in the women's 1500m race in Seoul ©Getty Images
Suzanne Schulting of The Netherlands clinched victory in the women's 1500m race in Seoul ©Getty Images

Selma Poutsma placed third in the 500m in 42.567.

Schulting, who won all of the individual races at her home World Championships in Dordrecht two years ago, was victorious in the women's 1500m in 2min 31.349sec.

She edged out South Korean home favourite Choi Min-jeong, who was the reigning world and back-to-back Olympic champion, by 0.099sec.

Canada's Kim Boutin took bronze in 2:31.575.

There was joy for the host nation in the men's events as Park Ji-won earned his first individual World Championships gold medal in the 1500m.

Park has dominated the 1500m distance this season, and led from the halfway stage onwards in the final in Seoul.

He crossed the finish line in 2:17.792, and has targeted further success in tomorrow's 1,000m final.

Pietro Sighel of Italy took second in 2:17.898, with Canada's Pascal Dion third in 2:17.986.

Dion's compatriot Steven Dubois had finished on the podium, but was disqualified for making contact with The Netherlands' Jens van 't Wout while making a midway pass.

The 500m gold went to Sighel, who was elevated into first place after China's Lin Xiaojun was disqualified for not wearing a transponder.

Sighel clocked 41.166sec, and Dubois was on this occasion the beneficiary of a disqualification as his 41.223 was enough for a silver.

Van 't Wout took third in 41.243.

The World Short Track Championships is set to conclude tomorrow with the 1,000m, mixed team relay, women's 3,000m relay and men's 5,000m relay finals.