Korean teams disappoint at World Cup short trackKorea managed to add two more gold medals at the 2005-2006 World Cup’s second short track competition, which ended last Sunday.
However, the women’s team failed to overcome China, and Korean ace Ahn Hyun-soo also lost to American Apolo Anton Ohno in the men’s 1,500-meter race.
In the ladies 3,000-meters held in Mok-dong, Seoul, Byun Chun-sa won gold with 6 minutes 9.377 seconds. In the 5,000-meter relay, the Korean team of Ahn Hyun-soo, Lee Ho-suk, Song Suk-woo and Seo Ho-jin won gold medals in a time of 6 minutes 47.235 seconds, ahead of China and Canada.
However, the ladies 3,000-meter race is not an official Olympic sport, and skating officials are worried about the coming Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy this February. Korea won three gold medals out of 10 available, but the team’s overall performance was considered disappointing.
China’s Wang Meng won three gold medals ― the ladies 3,000-meter relay and the 500-meter and 1,000-meter sprints. Yang Yang, who returned after a two-year absence, won the 1,500 meters.
Ahn, who won his 1,500- meter heat last Friday, ended up in third (1 minute 27.833 seconds) behind Ohno (1 minute 27.452 seconds) and China’s Li Jia Jun (1 minute 27.452 seconds). Ohno won another gold medal in the 3,000 meters while Ahn came in second and Li placed third. Ohno compiled most points in the men’s competition, clinching the individual title.
“Many athletes suffered injuries and did not have enough time for training,” said Park Se-u, the women’s national short track team coach.
However, former national coach Jeon Myeong-gyu said, “For now, it is difficult for the women’s team to overcome China. Ahn Hyun-soo also seems to be unable to beat Ohno.”
In the 1,500-meter short track final at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, South Korean Kim Dong-sung finished the race in first place but was disqualified by the judges for obstructing Ohno, who as a result won the gold medal. Many Koreans at the time accused Ohno of faking the obstruction.
by Sung Baik-you, Limb Jae-un