Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa basked in the spotlight from world media after she captured the nation’s first gold medal in the women’s 500 meter race during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Wednesday.
Some foreign news outlets said the race was “dominated by Lee,” a two-time gold medalist.
The U.S. daily Washington Post likened Lee to Usain Bolt, the fastest man in history.
“What Lee is doing in women’s speed skating, at least in the 500-meter sprint, is the same thing Usain Bold has done in track the past half-dozen years,” the newspaper said.
Russian news agency R-Sport also spoke highly of Lee, who successfully defended her crown against strong Dutch rivals. It wrote, “The women’s 500 meters is the only event in which Dutch skaters were not on the top of the podium.”
American sports news ESPN gave her high marks for bursting off the line with a flawless start and building up speed with each stride on the front straight way.
It added, “Lee lived up to the hype as the overwhelming favorite in women’s 500-meter speed skating.”
Lee made her Olympic debut at the age of 16 in the 2006 Turin Olympics, finishing fifth in the 500 meters. Her first World Cup-level victory came at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where she took the gold by a mere 0.05 seconds over Germany’s Jenny Wolf.
By Ock Hyun-ju, Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)