Three S. Koreans reach semifinals in men's short track

By 이우영
  • Published : Feb 10, 2014 - 19:47
  • Updated : Feb 10, 2014 - 23:40

 Three South Korean short track speed skaters advanced to the semifinals in the men's 1,500 meters on Monday at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Park Se-young, Sin Da-woon and Lee Han-bin all made it out of heats to keep their medal hopes alive at Iceberg Skating Palace.

The semifinals will start at 3:04 p.m. on Monday (8:04 p.m. in South Korea), followed by the finals at 4:05 p.m. (9:05 p.m. in South Korea.)

They will try to win South Korea's first medal at the ongoing Winter Games.

In heats, 36 skaters were paired into six groups of six, with the top three from each group moving on to the semis.

Park Se-young reached the semifinals as the third best qualifier from the second group. Sin Da-woon finished first in the third group. Lee Han-bin finished atop the sixth group.

Joining them in the seminfinals will be Viktor Ahn of Russia.

Born Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea, the three-time Olympic champion at the 2006 Turin Games became a Russian citizen in 2011 and is trying to win the first Olympic short track gold medal for his adopted country. Ahn finished first in the second group.

South Korea has been by far the most successful country in Olympic short track since it became a medal sport in 1992. Heading into Sochi, South Korea had won 19 gold medals and 37 medals overall, more than any other nation in both categories. South Korea is also the only country to have won at least one short track gold medal at every Winter Games.

The men's 1,500m joined the Olympic program in 2002, and South Korean skaters won the gold in 2006 and 2010.

Also on Monday, heats for the women's 500m and the semifinals for the women's 3,000m relay are scheduled. Shim Suk-hee, Park Seung-hi and Kim A-lang will compete in the 500m. Shim and Park will team up with Cho Ha-ri and Kong Sang-jeong in the relay against Hungary, Canada and Russia.

The top two countries from the relay semifinals will advance to the final.  (Yonhap)