Koreans skate to gold at ISU short track meet

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Koreans skate to gold at ISU short track meet

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South Korea’s Noh Jin-Kyu, left, and Canada’s Charles Hamelin compete in the 1,500-meter finals Saturday during the ISU Short Track World Cup speed-skating competition in Shanghai. [REUTERS/NEWS1]

South Korea earned two gold medals in the 2013-14 ISU Short Track World Cup held in Shanghai, which started on Thursday and ended yesterday.

Shim Shuk-hee, 15, won the women’s 1,500-meter final Saturday in a personal best 2:21.511 seconds. Another Korean skater, Kim A-rang, 17, earned silver with a personal record of 2:21.575 seconds.

Shim has been in the spotlight as a top talent in Korean women’s short track ever since she was competing at the junior level.

She won all six World Cup events in the women’s 1,500-meter category in her debut season at the senior level last year. Saturday’s victory is her seventh consecutive win. Shim’s ultimate goal is to win the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics that will be held in Russia.

In the men’s 1,500-meter race, Noh Jin-kyu, 20, the winner of the 1,500-meter category in the 2011 Short Track World Championships, earned a gold medal by defeating Canada’s Charles Hamelin by a margin of 0.015 seconds in a personal best 2:14.982. Former Korean skater Ahn Hyun-soo, 27, now competing as Viktor Ahn under a Russian flag, earned bronze in a personal record time of 2:15.110.

At 500 meters, a race in which Korea has not been impressive, Park Seung-hee, 20, earned silver with in a person record of 43.614 seconds. China won the gold in 43.541 seconds.

“This is a good sign for the national team preparing for Sochi,” Yoon Jae-myung, coach of the men’s short track team, was quoted as saying in an after the competition.

“All we have to do is stay free of injuries and maintain physical conditioning.”

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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