Shim and Choi are back for more in Beijing Olympic squad
The eight male and eight female members of the Korean national short track team were named on Sunday, with the top five of each gender going on to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics next year.
Korea rules the ice when it comes to Olympic short track speed skating, topping the medal table with 24 gold medals. China trails with 9 golds.
The five Olympic female short track skaters are Shim Suk-hee, Choi Min-jeong, Kim Ji-yoo, Lee Yu-bin, Kim A-lang in order of their national team selection competition ranking. Seo Whi-min doesn't go to the Olympics but will compete at World Cup events, while Park Ji-yoon and Kim Gil-li will train with the squad and act as substitutes if needed.
As the top three skaters, Shim, Choi and Kim Ji-yoo are eligible to compete at all five events — the 500, 1000 and 1,500 meter races, 3,000 meter relay and the 2,000 meter mixed relay, a new addition at the Beijing Olympics. Lee and Kim A-lang, will only compete in the relay events.
Choi topped the table in the first round and Shim in the second of the national team qualifications, both earning a total of 99 points. As the second round takes precedence over the first, Shim sits at No. 1.
Shim took home three medals at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi — gold in the 3,000 meter relay, silver in the 1,500 meter and bronze in the 1,000 meter.
She added another gold medal in the 3,000 meter relay event alongside teammates Kim Ye-Jin, Lee Yu-bin, Kim A-Lang and Choi at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
As a former teen prodigy, Shim holds 11 world championship gold medals and five world junior championship gold medals and 51 ISU World Cup gold medals since 2012.
Shim has held the world record of one minute and 26.661 seconds in the 1,000 meter race since the 2012 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary, Canada.
If there's anybody who rivals Shim in the record books it is Choi, the world record holder in the 1,500 meter race with two minutes and 14.354 seconds. Choi has two Olympic gold medals, three world championship medals and 39 ISU World Cup gold medals to her name.
The five Olympic male short track speed skaters are Hwang Dae-heon, Lee June-seo, Park Jang-hyuk, Kwak Yoon-gy, Kim Dong-wook, with Park In-wook taking the World Cup spot and Han Seung-soo and Park Ji-won as substitutes.
Team Korea hopes to take gold in all nine short track events at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]