Short track team continues to struggle at ISU World Cup

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Short track team continues to struggle at ISU World Cup

Hwang Dae-heon, right, competes during the men's 1500-meter final at the ISU Short Track World Cup 2021-22 in Nagoya, Japan, on Saturday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

Hwang Dae-heon, right, competes during the men's 1500-meter final at the ISU Short Track World Cup 2021-22 in Nagoya, Japan, on Saturday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

 
Korea left the second round of the 2021–22 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup without a team gold medal on Sunday.
 
Korea won three individual medals in Nagoya, Japan — Hwang Dae-heon won the men's 500-meter gold medal and the 1500-meter silver medal and Kim A-lang won the women's 1500-meter bronze medal.
 
Hwang Dae-heon celebrates after winning the men's 1000-meter final of the 2021-22 ISU World Cup Short Track at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on October 24. [AFP/YONHAP]

Hwang Dae-heon celebrates after winning the men's 1000-meter final of the 2021-22 ISU World Cup Short Track at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on October 24. [AFP/YONHAP]

 
The only team medal was the silver medal in the women's 3,000-meter relay, where Kim, Lee Yu-bin, Seo Whi-min and Park Ji-yun finished with a time of 4:10.929, a fraction of a second behind Netherlands, who crossed the finish line with a time of 4:10.848.
 
Park and Seo joined the World Cup roster at the last minute, in place of Olympic medalists Shim Suk-hee and Choi Min-jeong.
 
The top six skaters from the national team selection competition that took place on May 6 were supposed to compete in the World Cup. As Shim and Choi both earned a total of 99 points to top the table in May, they were qualified for the four-series ISU World Cup.
 
However, Shim was excluded from the World Cup series roster after the release a series of text messages sent to a coach during the 2018 Olympics that included insults directed at teammates and what some believe is a reference to possible race fixing.
 
Choi, on the other hand, competed in the first round in Beijing from Oct. 21 to 24, but missed out on the second round due to an injury from the first round.
 
Choi Min-jeong, front right, and Kim Ji-yoo crash out during the women's 1500-meter final at the ISU World Cup Short Track event in Beijing on Oct. 23. [YONHAP]

Choi Min-jeong, front right, and Kim Ji-yoo crash out during the women's 1500-meter final at the ISU World Cup Short Track event in Beijing on Oct. 23. [YONHAP]

 
The men's team finished last in the men's 5000-meter relay final, with a time of 7:08.798, 15 seconds behind fourth-place Italy. Korea started the race in the lead but slipped toward the end of the match to finish last.
 
Korea now has three gold medals, three silver and three bronze medals from the first and second World Cup rounds. In the 2019-20 season, Korea had five gold medals, eight silver medals and three bronze medals at the same point. The third round will take place in Debrecen, Hungary from Nov. 18 to 21.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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