South Korea's medal hopefuls for next year's Winter Games said Thursday avoiding injuries is their most important task at the moment.
With the first Winter Olympics in South Korea less than two months away, homegrown athletes said they're focusing on maintaining their health and addressing their shortcomings.
Short track speed skaters Shim Suk-hee and Choi Min-jeong said they're trying to escape injuries these days. Both Shim and Choi have given impressive performances this year, winning a combined 10 gold medals at the International Skating Union Short Track Speed Skating World Cups this season.
South Korean short track speed skaters Shim Suk-hee (L) and Choi Min-jeong (R) pose for a photo with Maekyung Media Group Chairman Chang Dae-whan after they won the grand prize at the MBM Women Sports Awards in Seoul on Dec. 14, 2017. (Yonhap)
"The most important thing is to maintain good health," said Shim, a gold medalist at the 2014 Winter Games. "I'm trying to stay away from getting injured, and I am even being careful about leaves falling from trees."
Choi, two-time world overall champion, also said her main focus is on staying healthy.
"I'm even sensitive to small pains these days," Choi said. "I'm especially moving carefully to avoid injuries."
Shim and Choi said they're also practicing hard to improve their performance in the 3,000-meter relay.
"I'm currently working on improving my movement and power," Shim said. "We're also training hard for the relay."
Figure skater Choi Da-bin, who currently leads the national team selection trial for the Winter Games, said she is focusing on regaining her form after suffering injuries. The 17-year-old has been dealing with ankle and knee problems this season.
"I will try to improve my health condition in the remaining time before the Olympics," she said. "I'm just going to keep working on what I've been doing to this day, but I'll also try not to get injured."
Speed skater Kim Bo-reum, a medal contender in the women's mass start, is currently recovering from a lower back injury, but vowed she will be 100 percent fit at the Olympics.
"My back wasn't actually good even before I fell on ice in November," she said. "However, I'm trying to be healthy again." (Yonhap)