Kim and Jeong fail to finish in skiathlon Olympic debut
Cross country skiers Kim Min-woo and Jeong Jong-won represented Korea in the men's 15km + 15km cross country skiathlon event on Sunday, but both failed to finish the race.
Both Kim and Jeong made their Olympic debut in the 30-kilometer race, but were unable to finish as they were both lapped.
Jeong crossed the 12.6-kilometer point with a time of 42:12.8, but was lapped as he was 9:02.9 behind the lead. Kim made it past the 15-kilometer mark, where skiers change their skis, and crossed the 16.3-kilometer point with a time of 51:02.7, but was lapped as he was 8:14.6 behind the lead.
In pursuit competitions like skiathlon, competitors who fall behind are removed from the competition to avoid overlapping or the competition taking too long.
The men's skiathlon is a 30-kilometer event, combining both classical and freestyle cross country skiing techniques in two stages. After a mass start, skiers complete the first 15 kilometers using the classical method where the athletes’ skies move back and forth in a parallel motion inside parallel grooves of snow. Then the athletes switch skies to race the remaining 15 kilometers using the freestyle method. The freestyle race is faster than the classical technique, as skiers push their skis side to side to move ahead like ice skating.
Alexander Bolshunov of Russia took gold with a time of 1:16:09.8, Denis Spitsov of Russia took silver with a time of 1:16:09.8 and Livo Niskanen of Finland took bronze with a time of 1:18:10.0.
The only Korean to have finished a skiathlon race at the 2022 Beijing Games is Lee Chae-won, who finished finished 61st in the women's 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon on Saturday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]