Curlers cruise in Vancouver

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Curlers cruise in Vancouver


Korea skip Kim Hak-sung, right, and Cho Yang-hyun, second right, gesture to a teammate as Britain’s Angie Malone, left, and Aileen Neilson look on during wheelchair curling competition in Vancouver yesterday. [AP/YONHAP]

The Korean wheelchair curling team is on pace to make it to the semifinals. In round robin session five, Korea cruised to a 7-4 win over Great Britain but lost to Norway 6-9 in the sixth session at the Vancouver Paralympics Center yesterday.

The team consisting of Kim Hak-sung, Kim Myung-jin, Cho Yang-hyun, Kang Mi-suk and Park Kil-woo has now posted a record of three wins and two losses, which places them third, behind Canada and the United States.

Korea started the Paralympics with a loss to the United States but then mustered three wins and one loss in its last four matches against Sweden, Japan, Great Britain and Norway. With matches remaining against Italy today, Switzerland on Thursday and Germany on Friday, Korea is in good shape to advance to the semis.

The Paralympics, which kicked off on March 13 and will run through March 22, Korean time, feature alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.

Korea’s ice sledge hockey team, playing in its first Paralympics, has lost both of its games, going 0-5 against the United States on March 14 and 0-5 to Japan on Monday.

In its final preliminary round game, Korea was scheduled to face the Czech Republic early this morning.

Korea’s medal hopeful in the biathlon event, Im Hak-su, is set to compete in the 1-kilometer sprint classic and 10-kilometer classic, both for visually impaired men, on March 22 and 19, respectively.

Im competed in the visually impaired men’s 20-kilometer free event at Whistler Paralympic Park yesterday and placed ninth overall, with a time of 55 minutes 53.6 seconds. Canada’s Brian McKeever took the gold with 51 minutes 14.7 seconds and Nikolya Polukhin of Russia and Vasili Shaptsiaboi of Belarus finished second and third, respectively.

Han Sang-min, Lee Hwan-kyung and Park Jong-seork are competing in the alpine skiing events. Having won a silver medal in the men’s giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, Han is the first and lone Korean athlete to win a medal at the Paralympics. The 30-year-old skier finished 12th overall in the men’s slalom-sitting event on March 15.

By Jason Kim []
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