Speed skater Cha Min-kyu wins silver in men's 500 meters
Speed skater Cha Min-kyu finished second in the men’s 500-meter on Saturday, winning Korea’s second silver medal at the Beijing Games.
Cha marked his season-best time ever at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, finishing the short race in 34.39 seconds, just 0.07 seconds behind gold medalist Gao Tingyu of China, who set a new Olympic record of 34.32 seconds.
Morishige Wataru of Japan won the bronze medal with a time of 34.49 seconds, ensuring an all-Asian podium for the event. Korea's Kim Jun-ho finished sixth with a time of 34.54 seconds.
This is Cha’s second consecutive silver medal at the Olympics, after coming second at PyeongChang with a time of 34.42 seconds. He was able to shave 0.03 seconds off his PyeongChang record in Beijing, moving closer to his personal best time of 34.03 seconds.
“I feel great for winning my second silver medal,” said Cha. “I wasn’t in good form ahead of the Games and I wasn’t getting good results at the World Cups, but I focused on the Olympics. I think I was able to win because of my family and fans cheering for me.
“I had some things that I wanted to improve in today’s race but I am still happy to have won the silver medal.”
Cha's medal is Korea's fourth of the Beijing Games and the second in speed skating. Kim Min-seok won Korea's first medal on Tuesday, a bronze in the 1,500 meters, with short track speed skaters Hwang Dae-heon and Choi Min-jeong adding a gold and silver respectively over the following days.
Korea will continue with their hunt for speed skating medals on Sunday, with the men’s team pursuit quarterfinals scheduled at 9 p.m.
Kim Min-seok will be joined by Chung Jae-won, Lee Seung-hoon and Park Seong-hyun in the team pursuit.
At 9:56 p.m., Kim Min-sun will compete in the women’s 500-meter medal race.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]