Cha, Kim win first 500-meter races at National Sprint Speed Championship

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Cha, Kim win first 500-meter races at National Sprint Speed Championship

Cha Min-kyu races in the men's 500-meter race at the 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship held in the Taereung International Rink in Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]

Cha Min-kyu races in the men's 500-meter race at the 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship held in the Taereung International Rink in Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]

 
Cha Min-kyu won the first men's 500-meter race and Kim Min-sun topped the first women's 500-meter race of the 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship held at the Taereung International Skating Rink in northern Seoul on Thursday. Both Cha and Kim will represent Korea at the upcoming Beijing Olympics.  
 
Cha crossed the finish line with a time of 35.22 seconds on Thursday. He won the silver medal at the 500-meter at ISU Four Continents Speed Skating Championships on Dec. 16 with a time of 34.839 seconds, 0.01 seconds behind winner Austin Kleba of United States.
 
At the Beijing Games, Cha will compete in the men's 500-meter race alongside Kim Jun-ho. Cha will also be competing in the men's 1000-meter final.
 
Kim Min-sun races in the women's 500-meter race at the 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship held in the Taereung International Rink in Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]

Kim Min-sun races in the women's 500-meter race at the 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship held in the Taereung International Rink in Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]

 
In the women's 500-meter race, Kim topped the standings with a time of 38.13 seconds, setting a new tournament record for the National Sprint Speed Skating Championship. At the Beijing Olympics, Kim will compete in the 500-meter and 1000-meter races. Kim Hyun-yung will also join compete in the women's 1000-meter race.
 
The 48th National Sprint Speed Skating Championship continues until Friday.

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