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[BEIJING OLYMPICS] Short track champion Hwang Dae-heon reaches 500m quarters, relay final in triple gold bid

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 11, 2022 - 21:55

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Hwang Dae-heon of South Korea reacts after finishing his race in the men's 500m heats in short track speed skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Friday. (Yonhap) Hwang Dae-heon of South Korea reacts after finishing his race in the men's 500m heats in short track speed skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Friday. (Yonhap)
BEIJING -- South Korean short track speed skating gold medalist Hwang Dae-heon will have a chance to add two more titles in Beijing.

Hwang, who won the 1,500m gold medal Wednesday at Beijing 2022, qualified for the quarterfinals in the 500m on Friday at Capital Indoor Stadium.

He finished second in his quarterfinal heat, behind Abzal Azhgaliyev of Kazakhstan. There were eight heats, and the two fastest skaters from each heat, plus the four fastest among third-place skaters, advanced to the quarterfinals.

Another South Korean, Lee June-seo, was disqualified in his heat for making an "illegal late pass causing contact" with Sebastien Lepape of France. Lee took the brunt of the collision, as only he fell down afterward, while Lepape went on to finish second in the race.

The quarterfinals, semifinals and the final are all scheduled for Sunday.

Later Friday, Hwang helped South Korea qualify for the men's 5,000m relay final, as the team won its heat over the Russian Olympic Committee.

With Hwang as the first skater, South Korea took the lead out of the gate and stayed in front midway through the 45-lap race. The Netherlands took over with 18 laps left, and the Dutch opened up a gap over South Korea with six laps to go.

But the South Korean anchor Kwak Yoon-gy cut in front of the final Dutch skater, Itzhak de Laat, through the small opening on the inside in the final lap and hung on to send South Korea to the final next Wednesday.

South Korea has missed the podium in the men's 5,000m relay at each of the past two Olympics.

The last South Korean male short tracker to win three gold medals at a single Winter Games was Ahn Hyun-soo at Turin 2006.

Hwang was earlier disqualified in the semifinals of the 1,000m on a controversial refereeing decision.

Hwang, who received his gold medal in a ceremony Thursday, said he wanted his relay teammates to enjoy the same elation that he felt at the top of the medal podium.

"For the 500m, I will try to take it one step at a time.

Obviously, the individual race is important," Hwang said. "And then there's the relay. I hope everyone on the team will get to hear the national anthem." (Yonhap)