|Korean short tracker Shim Suk-hee (right) finishes just behind Zhou Yang of China at the women's 1500m final during the Sochi Olympic Games on Saturday. (Yonhap)|
South Korean teenage short tracker Shim Suk-hee won the silver medal in the women's 1,500ｍ at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Saturday.
The 17-year-old earned her first Olympic medal at Iceberg Skating Palace, finishing behind Zhou Yang of China. Arianna Fontana of Italy grabbed the bronze.
Zhou defended her Olympic gold in 2:19.140, while Shim clocked at 2:19.239 followed by Fontana at 2:19.416.
A second South Korean in the final, Kim A-lang, was penalized for her role in a collision with Li Jianrou of China.
Shim's is South Korea's third medal at the Winter Games, and second from short track. Park Seung-hi won the bronze in the women's 500ｍ on Thursday.
In the men's 1,000ｍ final, South Korean Sin Da-woon was penalized for interfering with another skater. Viktor Ahn of Russia captured the gold in 1:25.325 for the host country's first-ever Olympic short track title. Born Ahn Hyun-soo, the triple gold medalist for South Korea at the 2006 Winter Olympics became a Russian citizen in 2011. He had earlier won the bronze in the 1,500ｍ.
Vladimir Grigorev also of Russia got the silver in 1:25.399 and Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands took the bronze in 1:25.611.
In the women's final, Shim and Kim started the 13 1/2-lap race at the back of the pack. Shim first made a move with 10 laps to go, charging out to first place with Fontana right behind her.
After Kim and Li got tangled up midway through, Shim was comfortably in the lead. She stayed ahead until the final stretch, but Zhou, the 2010 Olympic champ in the 1,500ｍ, zipped past Shim with two laps to go and didn't relinquish the lead.
Shim entered the final as the heavy favorite. She had won the 1,500ｍ title at three of the four World Cup stops this season.
In the men's final, Sin began the nine-lap race at the back and never quite recovered, with the two Russians blocking his lane. Sin moved to fourth with five laps left, but fell back to fifth in the next lap.
The South Korean made another desperate move, taking third with two laps left, but then appeared to step on to a track marker as he lost his balance and came in fourth behind Knegt.
Sin's finish became a moot point when judges penalized him for impeding Knegt during the race.
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.
In Sochi, however, South Korea is still seeking its first short track gold. (Yonhap)