|South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa rallies as she took the gold in the women's 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday. (Yonhap)|
South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa captured the gold medal in the women's 500 meters on Tuesday at the Sochi Winter Games, putting together two blistering races to successfully defend her Olympic title.
In the two-race competition at Adler Arena Skating Center, Lee had a combined time of 74.70 seconds, a new Olympic record and 0.36 second faster than the runner-up, Olga Fatkulina of Russia. Margot Boer of the Netherlands took the bronze in 75.48 seconds combined.
After ranking first in the opening race with 37.42 seconds, Lee set the Olympic record with 37.28 seconds in the second race, easily the fastest time in the field.
Lee, the world record holder in the 500ｍ with 36.36 seconds, joined Bonnie Blair of the United States and Catriona Le May Doan of Canada as the only skaters to repeat as the Olympic gold medalist in the women's 500ｍ.
Lee's was South Korea's first medal at the ongoing Winter Olympics. The country is aiming to win four gold medals to finish in the top 10 in the medal standings, but got off to a shaky start, going without a medal over the first three days of competition.
Lee skated the second race in the 17th and final pairing next to Wang Beixing of China, the bronze medalist at the previous Winter Games, who only ranked sixth in the first race on Tuesday. From the inner lane, Lee had a blazing start, with a 100ｍ lap of 10.17 seconds, and cruised to the finish line for the gold. (Yonhap)
|South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa (center) captured the gold medal in the women`s 500 meters on Tuesday at the Sochi Winter Games. Olga Fatkulina of Russia (left) and Margot Boer of the Netherlands each took the silver and the bronze. (Yonhap)|