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[PyeongChang 2018] Short tracker Hwang Dae-heon prepares for Korea's 1st medal on ice

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- South Korean short tracker Hwang Dae-heon, who will participate in four events for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, said Wednesday he aims to have a "no-regret" race for his specialty -- the men's 1,500 meters slated for this weekend.

Hwang's teammate Seo Yi-ra and Lim Hyo-jun will also compete in the race, but the 18-year-old skater currently stands as world No. 1 in the distance. The men's 1,500m will take place a day after PyeongChang's opening ceremony, and Hwang is the favorite to win South Korea's first gold in these Olympic Games.

South Korea grabbed the gold in the men's 1,500m at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, but the male team failed to win any medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

South Korean short track speed skaters train at Gangneung Oval, located in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)
South Korean short track speed skaters train at Gangneung Oval, located in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

Hwang said he and his teammates don't really talk about what happened four years ago. Most of the current members weren't there anyway.

"I have thoroughly prepared (for the event)," Hwang told reporters after the training at Gangneung Ice Arena on Wednesday, adding he will still continue to make more efforts to show more of himself on the ice. He added he is feeling "average" physically ahead of the Olympics.

Despite the expectations that Hwang will take the throne at the 1,500m race, the skater said he will not be burdened by the outlook.

"At every competition, (all athletes) start on the same line," Hwang said. "I will show what I have trained without any regret in the race."

Hwang, seemingly calm, said he still feels slight pain in his injured left arm when he falls down. He suffered the injury at the World Cup event held in Shanghai, China, in November.

He also said fellow skaters are also maintaining a friendly atmosphere and are focusing on developing teamwork for the men's 5,000m relay by continuously sharing ideas on how to improve each other's performance. (Yonhap)

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