ISU looking at way to make skating more exciting

The Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- The International Skating Union is looking at ways of making speedskating more exciting to fans and is considering adding mass start and mixed team pursuit races.

Sometimes faced with empty stands during the season, hesitant sponsors and long races during Olympic prime time, ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta says he wants to break out of the mold of having races only in separate lanes, which many occasional viewers find boring.

Cinquanta says in an interview with The Associated Press that he wants ''to maintain the tradition of speedskating with two skaters in dedicated lanes and to have a mass start in addition.''

Mass start races would add intrigue, team tactics and a direct confrontation of skating styles in long-distance races.

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