National speed skating team finishes first ISU World Cup with one gold medal
The Korean national speed skating team will now head to Norway for the second International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup after winning one gold medal at the first ISU World Cup in Poland.
Kim Min-seok won the silverware after a big comeback in the men's 1500-meter division A race at Arena Lodowa in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, on Saturday.
This is Kim's first-ever gold medal at a 1500-meter World Cup race, clocking in at 1:46.153, 0.039 seconds ahead of runner-up Zhongyan Ning of China.
He crossed the first 300-meter point in seventh at 23.98 seconds then passed the 700-meter point in the second lap at fifth. He started his big comeback in the third lap, pulling himself up to second, then crossed the line upfront.
Despite Kim Min-seok's victory, winning just one gold medal is disappointing for Korea as the country has the 10th most speed skating gold medals in the world and the most in Asia. Korea has five gold medals, eight silver medals and three bronze medals.
Kim Bo-reum, two-time Olympian and silver-medalist at the the 2018 PyeongChang Games finished in sixth place at the women's mass start on Monday, coming in at 8:26.700 with six additional sprint points, totaling 76 points, putting her ahead of compatriot Park Ji-woo, who finished in 12th with 8:26.590.
Kim Joon-ho took 16th in the 500-meter men's race with 35.182. Kim Min-seok placed 15th in the 1000-meter men's division A race with a record of 1:10.363, while countryman Kim Tae-yun took last, 19th place, with 1:11.539.
The first four competitions of the World Cup series serve as qualifying events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Olympic berths will be given out to the top athletes, determined by the overall results of the first four World Cups. Now that the first competitions of the ISU World Cup series has finished in Poland, athletes head to Norway where the second World Cup will take place from Nov. 19 to 21. The third will be held in the United States from Dec. 3 to 5 and the fourth in Canada the week after. The fifth series will take place after the Games.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]