Women’s short-track squad sweep world championship

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Women’s short-track squad sweep world championship

The Korean short-track team ended the season on a high, winning six gold and four silver medals at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Short Track Speed Skating Championships at Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal on Sunday.


Choi Min-jeong, left, races in the 1,500-meter race at the ISU Short-track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal. [AP/YONHAP]

The women’s team made up for a disappointing PyeongChang Olympics, winning every single event at the world championships. Olympic gold medalist Choi Min-jeong started the tournament with a gold in the women’s 1,500-meter race, clocking 2 minutes and 23.351 seconds. Shim Suk-hee finished second, 0.117 seconds behind Choi.

Choi went on to redeem herself in the 500 meters, winning another gold. She was disqualified from the event during the PyeongChang Olympics for impeding Canada’s Kim Boutin.

In addition to Choi’s victories in the 500 and 1,500 meters, she finished the tournament with another individual gold, winning the 3,000-meter super final, clocking 4 minutes and 59.939 seconds.

Choi won three of the four races to win the overall title, totaling 110 points. As the athlete with the best finish at the world championship receives an automatic spot on the Korean national team for the next season, Choi has already qualified.

Having won the overall title in 2015 and 2016, this is her third victory in four years, as she finished sixth last year. During the 2017 world championships, Choi was disqualified in the 500 meters and fell during the 1,500-meter race.

Following Choi’s individual victories, the Korean women’s team concluded their season with another gold in the 3,000-meter relay race, clocking 4 minutes and 07.569 seconds, 1.485 seconds ahead of China. The relay race didn’t count toward the overall classification points.

“I’m really happy for our team,” Shim was quoted as saying on the ISU website.

Shim finished second in the overall classification with 63 points, as she won gold in the 1,000-meter race while Choi finished fourth.

The men’s short-track team had a strong finish with two gold and two silver.

Hwang Dae-heon, silver medalist in the men’s 500 meters at PyeongChang, was the first to take home a medal for the men’s team, winning the 500-meter race with 40.742 seconds. Despite finishing fourth in the 1,000 meters and seventh in the 3,000-meter super final, Hwang still managed to be the best finisher among the Korean skaters in the overall classification, standing at third with 44 points.

As he is the best finisher, Hwang also guaranteed his spot on the national team in the following season.

Lim Hyo-jun, gold medalist in the men’s 1,500 meters at PyeongChang, won two silvers in the men’s 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter races. Lim finished right behind Hwang, fourth, in the overall standing with 42 points.

The men’s team successfully redeemed themselves from the PyeongChang Olympics by winning gold in the 5,000-meter relay race for the first time in eight years.

The men’s team clocked 6 minutes and 44.267 seconds, finishing 0.167 seconds ahead of Canada.

The men’s team dramatically crashed out of the relay at the PyeongChang Olympics after Lim fell barely halfway through the race.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]
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