Published : 2014-02-22 04:32
Updated : 2014-02-23 10:07
South Korean short tracker Park Seung-hi captured the gold medal and teammate Shim Suk-hee grabbed the bronze in the women's 1,000 meters on Friday at the Sochi Winter Games.
Park finished the nine-lap race in 1:30.761, holding off Fan Kexin of China by 0.05 second to earn her second gold medal and third medal overall in Sochi. Shim finished third in 1:31.027, picking up her third medal at her first Olympics.
Park and Shim earlier teamed up to win the gold medal in the 3,000ｍ relay. Park also has the bronze from the 500ｍ, and Shim won the silver in the 1,500ｍ.
Park's medal was South Korea's third gold in Sochi and her fifth overall in the past two Olympics. She won two bronze medals in Vancouver in 2010.
South Korea now has three gold, two silver and two bronze medals in Sochi for 12th place.
In Friday's final, the two South Koreans got out in front early in the nine-lap race at Iceberg Skating Palace. After exchanging leads between themselves, Park was in control in the lead, with Shim right behind her with three laps left.
Fan then made a move on the outside to slide in between the two South Koreans during the final lap. The Chinese even tried to grab Park from behind near the finish line, but the South Korean stayed on her skates for the gold.
South Korea leads all countries with 21 gold medals in short track since it became an Olympic sport in 1992.
Nearly an hour after finishing the race, Park said the gold medal still hadn't hit her.
"I really wanted to win an individual gold, but I am still very numb," she said. "Suk-hee was skating well and I thought she was going to take the gold. This is a great gift for me."
Park fell twice in the 500m final here, and sustained a right foot injury that kept her out of the 1,500m race. She confessed her foot was still tender but the rush of adrenalin during races kept her going.
"I was in great form before the 500m, and the injury threw me off a bit," she said. "Once the competition was on, I could fight through pains."
Earlier on Friday, Park Se-yeong and Lee Han-bin were eliminated from the quarterfinals in the men's 500ｍ.
In the men's quarters, 16 skaters were divided into four groups of four, with the top two from each moving on to the semifinals.
Park received a penalty for interference in the second group, while Lee finished third in the fourth group.
South Korea has now been shut out of men's short track medals for the first time since 2002. Earlier in Sochi, the country came up short in the 1,000ｍ, 1,500ｍ and 5,000ｍ relay.
Viktor Ahn of Russia won two gold medals on Friday, first taking the 500ｍ and then helping his country take the 5,000ｍ relay gold.
He was born Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea and won three gold medals at the 2006 Olympics for his native country. He became a Russian citizen in 2011 under controversial circumstances, as his family claimed that Ahn, recovering from a serious knee injury, never recieved a fair chance to return to the national team and that he'd been a victim of factional feuds with the national skating federation.
For his adopted country, Ahn won three gold medals along with a bronze in Sochi, and his dominance has been in stark contrast to South Koreans' futility. Before this year, Russia hadn't won an Olympic gold in short track.
Ahn is the most decorated Olympic short tracker, male or female, with six career gold medals. (Yonhap)