Sports BriefsSPEED SKATING
Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa returns home for Olympics
Korean female speed skater Lee Sang-hwa, a two-time gold medalist in the women’s 500-meter race, returned home on Monday to start her preparations to add another gold to her career at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Lee, who captured two gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, also set a new track record at the Frillensee Cup at Eisstadion Inzell in Germany the previous day with a time of 37.18 seconds for the 500-meter race, proving her potential for the upcoming competition as well.
The skater, who has been in Germany with her coach since last month, is set to join her colleagues currently training in Gangneung in Gangwon today.
Lee will start her schedule in the 2018 Winter Games by participating in the 1000-meter race on Feb. 14, with the much-awaited 500 meter competition slated for Feb. 18. Her Japanese archrival, Nao Kodaira, meanwhile, stands as a major hurdle in her ambitions for a third Olympic gold. While Kodaira has only won one silver for team pursuit in the 2010 Winter Games in terms of the Olympics, she won all seven races in the 2017-2018 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Speed Skating season and left Lee to settle for five silver and one bronze.
Japan expects Kodaira to win at least two golds from her 500-meter, 1,000-meter, and 1,500-meter races.
Sin Eui-hyun takes gold at para-nordic world cup
Para-nordic skier Sin Eui-hyun won gold at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Biathlon Sprint in Vuokatti, Finland on Sunday.
Sin finished the men’s biathlon sprint 7.5 kilometer (4.6 miles) race with a time of 26 minutes 8.1 seconds, 33 seconds ahead of Taras Rad of Ukraine.
As this was the last World Cup race before the 2018 Paralympics, Sin’s victory has once again raised expectations of adding Korea’s third gold medal at the Paralympics, as he defeated Ivan Golubkov of Russia, who is likely to medal at the Paralympics. Lee Jeong-min finished sixth at 28 minutes 48.5 seconds while Won Yoo-min finished 11th at 31 minutes 31.8 seconds.
By Kang Yoo-rim
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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