Lee Yu-bin takes gold at ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup
Lee Yu-bin took gold in the women’s 1500-meter race while Park Jang-hyuk took bronze in the men's 1500-meter in the fourth round of the 2021–22 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dordrecht, in the Netherlands on Saturday.
Lee won with a time of 2:21.931 ahead of Courtney Sarault of Canada who came in second and Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands who came in third. Until the very last lap, Lee kept a third to fourth position then she pulled off a big comeback in the end, crossing the finish line first.
In the same race, countrywomen Seo Whi-min finished fifth with a time of 2:22.185 and Choi Min-jeong finished sixth with a time of 2:22.193. Choi, whose world record of 2:14.354 in the women’s 1500-meter set on Nov. 12, 2016 stands until now, is still struggling to find her form after suffering an injury in Beijing and missing out the second round of the World Cup.
This is Lee’s fifth World Cup medal and second gold medal this season after winning the 1500-meter gold medal and the women’s 3000-meter relay bronze medal in the first round held in Beijing, then the team silver medal in the 3,000-meter relay in the second round held in Nagoya, Japan. She also won the 1500-meter silver medal in Debrecen, Hungary.
Lee wasn’t the only Korean to medal in the Netherlands. Park Jang-hyuk won the men’s 1500-meter bronze medal with a time of 2:20.662, marking his fourth World Cup medal this season. Park won the 2000-meter relay bronze medal in the first World Cup in Beijing, then a 5000-meter relay team silver medal and a 1500-meter bronze medal in Debrecen.
Alongside Park in the 1500-meter race, compatriot Kwak Yoon-gy finished last with a time of 2:21.171.
The four rounds of the World Cup serve as qualifying events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The best three records of each athlete will be added up and the top 32 players will earn Olympic berths for the 500-meter and 1000-meter race while the top 36 players will earn 1500-meter Olympics berths. Korea has now earned three berths in both the men’s and women’s 1500-meter event at the Beijing Olympics. At the Olympics, no more than three athletes from the same country can compete in a single event.
As of press time, the men’s and women’s 1000-meter race, 2000-meter mixed relay, women’s 3000-meter relay and men’s 5000-meter relay were yet to be held.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]