Kim Bo-reum takes 1st gold in mass start

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Kim Bo-reum takes 1st gold in mass start


Kim Bo-reum conquers her first win in at the ISF World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung on Sunday. [YONHAP]

Kim Bo-reum won her first gold medal in the women’s mass start at the 2016-17 International Skating Union (ISU) World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung on Sunday.

Kim crossed the finish line at 8 minutes 00.79 seconds, 0.11 seconds ahead of Nana Takagi of Japan. With the win, she earned 60 points and her second win of the season. Kim kept herself within fourth to fifth place throughout the race and in her final lap, she showed an explosive sprint to put herself ahead of every other competitors.

“I was surprised in the beginning when the unexpected players led the race,” Kim said. “But my plan of a last lap sprint worked out well.”

Kim is selected as a medalist nominee in women’s speed skating mass start event at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

“I gained confidence from this win,” Kim said. “I’m excited to see good results at the 2018 Sapporo Winter Asian Games and for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”

Unlike other famous speed skaters, Kim got off to a slow start as a short track speed skater in eighth grade, missing a spot on the Korean short track speed skating team multiple times.

In May 2010, after watching former short track speed skater Lee Seung-hoon win a gold medal in the 10,000 meter event at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Kim decided to switch over to long track speed skating and further challenge herself. Surprisingly, she made it on to the national team after a year of long track speed skating.

Also, Kim was very fortunate when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) added long track speed skating events to the PyeongChang Olympics in June, 2015. Mass start is different than other speed skating races as 24 skaters all start together for the 16-lap race, which allows physical contact. The event works better for former short track speed skaters like Kim, as she is well trained in positions and corners.

“As a former short track speed skater, I skated a lot in smaller circle so I’m more comfortable in the inner curve,” Kim said.

In men’s division, teenage skater Kim Min-seok finished fifth in men’s 1500 meters at 1 minute 46.05 seconds, improving his personal best record by 0.04 seconds.

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