Korea bags silver in team pursuit

By 신용배

Nation will fall short of medal tally goal

  • Published : Feb 23, 2014 - 07:21
  • Updated : Feb 23, 2014 - 19:08

Korea’s Lee Seung-hoon celebrates with the national flag after capturing the silver medal in the men’s team pursuit on Saturday. (Yonhap)
South Korea on Saturday added what should be its final medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the silver in the men's team pursuit in speed skating, but will fall short of its stated objective.

The team of Lee Seung-hoon, Joo Hyong-jun and Kim Cheol-min took the silver behind the favored Netherlands in the team pursuit race at Adler Arena Skating Center, winning the country's first medal in the event that became a medal sport in 2006.

It brought South Korea's medal tally to three gold, three silver and two bronze medals for 13th place, with one day of competition remaining. The country had sought to win at least four gold medals and finish inside the top 10, but is unlikely to add another medal.

A pair of four-man bobsleigh teams will be in action for South Korea on Sunday, but they are both well out of medal contention.

The first team, led by the pilot Won Yun-jong, ranked 20th among 30 teams at a combined time of 1:52.09 after the first two races, nearly two full seconds behind the leading team from Russia.

The second South Korean unit, with the pilot Kim Dong-hyun at the helm, was only 29th at 1:53.75. They will be back for two more races on Sunday, with the combined times after all four runs determining the final standings.

South Korea had won six gold medals -- its record at a Winter Olympics -- in each of the past two Winter Games. In Vancouver in 2010, South Korea also added six silver and two bronze medals for a record total of 14 medals, and finished fifth, its highest position ever at a Winter Games.

The lackluster performance in Sochi will keep South Korea out of the top 10 in medals for only the second time since 1992.

The speed skating team had the country's last hope for a gold but was overmatched against the Dutch unit that featured three Olympic medalists, including Sven Kramer, the two-time reigning gold medal winner in the 5,000m. The Netherlands sat an Olympic record with 3:37.71, more than three seconds faster than South Korea in the eight-lap showdown.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the women's speed skating team finished eighth in the women's team pursuit.

In women's cross country, Lee Chae-won finished 36th among 57 skiers in the 30㎞ mass start free event.

Korea’s Kim Sang-kyum competes in a snowboard parallel slalom qualifier at the Sochi Games on Saturday.
Two snowboarders, Shin Bong-shik and Kim Sang-kyum, were knocked out of the qualification round in the men's parallel slalom. Shin ranked 23rd out of 32, and Kim was 26th, with only the top 16 moving on to the next stage.

In men's alpine skiing, Jung Dong-hyun, Kyung Sung-hyun and Park Je-yun all failed to finish their runs in the slalom event.

As the Olympics nears the end, host Russia shot to the top of the medal table with 11 gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals, barely ahead of Norway, which has 11 gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals so far. (Yonhap)