Korean dark horse wins speed skating gold
Korea got its first gold medal in a long-track speed skating event from an unexpected source earlier today. The 21-year-old Mo Tae-bum, making his Olympic debut on his birthday, earned a gold medal in the men’s 500-meter speed skating event.
Mo blazed around the rink, posting a time of 69.82 seconds, his personal best. The gold medal is Korea’s first in the speed skating event since it started participating in the Winter Games at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
“I did not receive a lot of attention from the media and I think that actually helped me skate without putting too much pressure on myself,” said Mo in a post-race interview.
Although less was expected from Mo than from veteran teammates Lee Kyu-hyeok and Lee Kang-seok in the 500-meter event, Mo crossed the finish line first, edging out Keiichiro Nagashima and Joji Kato of Japan.
Lee Kyu-hyeok, who is competing in his fifth Olympics, missed out on yet another chance to earn his first medal and finished a disappointing 15th place, while Lee Kang-seok, reigning 500-meter world champion and 2006 Turin Winter Games bronze medalist finished fourth.
The three Korean skaters will compete in the 1,000-meter event on Thursday.
By Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]