Two South Korean female short trackers advanced to the finals in the 1,500ｍ race, while one man also reached the finals in the 1,000ｍ event at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Saturday.
In the women's 1,500ｍ, Shim Suk-hee and Kim A-lang made it out
of the semifinals at Iceberg Skating Palace. Cho Ha-ri failed to
reach the finals after being disqualified for pushing off another
skater. In the men's 1,000ｍ, Sin Da-woon also moved on to the finals.
In the women's semis, 19 skaters were paired into two groups of
six and one group of seven, with the top two from each group
getting a chance to vie for medals. The finals will take place at
4:12 p.m. (9:12 p.m. in South Korea).
Shim and Kim each ended in second place in the first and the
third groups. Cho finished her race in third place in the third
group but judges ruled that she had impeded Emily Scott of the
United States during the race.
Those eliminated from the semis were relegated to the B final.
Park Seung-hi, the bronze medalist in the 500ｍ, withdrew from
the 1,500ｍ race with a knee injury she sustained in a fall during
the 500ｍ final on Thursday. Cho replaced her in Saturday's race.
Park's bronze is the only short track medal for South Korea so
far in Sochi.
Shim, 17, is a rising star. She won the 1,500ｍ title at three
of the four World Cup stops this season.
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, more than any other
nation. South Korea is the only country to have won at least one
short track gold medal at every Winter Games.
The women's 1,500ｍ became a medal event in 2002 and South Korea
has won two of the three gold medals in the distance so far.
Also on Saturday, Sin Da-woon survived the semifinals in the
men's 1,000ｍ, while his teammate Lee Han-bin was disqualified
following a collision with another skater.
Eight skaters were paired into two groups of four, with the top
two from each group reaching the medal round.
Sin and Lee raced in the first group. Sin came in second place,
while Lee fell off the pace early after getting tangled up with
Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands. Lee appeared to lose his
composure after the incident, and judges awarded Knegt, who
finished in third, an extra spot in the finals after Lee's interference.
The men's finals will start at 4:25 p.m. (9:25 p.m. in South Korea).
On Monday, Lee finished sixth in the 1,500ｍ final while Sin was
eliminated from the 1,500ｍ semifinals after a fall. The South
Korean men's 5,000ｍ relay team crashed out of the semfinals on Thursday.
Viktor Ahn of Russia also reached the medal round. Born Ahn
Hyun-soo, the triple gold medalist for South Korea at the 2006
Winter Olympics became a Russian citizen in 2011 and is seeking
Russia's first Olympic gold in short track. He won the bronze in
the 1,500ｍ on Monday.
South Korea has won five of the six Olympic gold medals in the
men's 1,000ｍ so far. (Yonhap)