Men’s team gets back on track, ready for the relay

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Men’s team gets back on track, ready for the relay


Lee Ho-suk, front, and Sung Si-bak during a short-track speed skating training session at the Pacific Coliseum on Monday, Korean time. [NEWSIS]

VANCOUVER - The men’s short-track speed skaters say they’ve put the fiasco of the 1,500-meter race behind them and are working toward the 5,000-meter relay event, finishing their training session with the athletes in good spirits at the Killarney Center here yesterday morning, Korean time.

Lee Jung-su took top honors in the event, and Sung Si-bak and Lee Ho-suk had seemed poised to make it a national sweep. But as Lee Ho-suk swept past Sung as he cornered the final stretch of the track, the teammates collided, leaving Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski of the United States to take the silver and bronze.

The wipe-out briefly shook the skaters. Lee Jung-su said Monday that Lee Ho-suk was so distraught his teammates couldn’t approach him, but by yesterday the veteran looked upbeat.

“Lee apologized. He and Sung shook hands and hugged and put it behind them,” said Kim Ki-hoon, head coach of the men’s team.

Sung, who was seen pounding the ice after he and his teammate slid to the padding, confirmed, “I have decided to forget about it. It’s a bad idea to dwell on the past. I don’t want to talk about that day.

“As for training, I’m back to my normal pace. I guess I can say I’m more determined to win a medal after the 1,500-meter event.”

As the relay event neared, the coaching staff was focused on strategy - and care. “The Olympics is the stage everyone dreams of and the cautious approach of the athletes is noticeable,” said SBS commentator Chun Li-kyung.

By On Nu-ri []
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