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[BEIJING OLYMPICS] Speed skater going for record-setting medal in likely last Olympics

South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon (R) trains at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on Wednesday, ahead of his mass start competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics. (Yonhap)
South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon (R) trains at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on Wednesday, ahead of his mass start competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics. (Yonhap)

BEIJING -- Beijing 2022 could be the final Winter Games for the speed skater Lee Seung-hoon, who shares a South Korean Winter Olympic record with five career medals.

Lee will take his one last crack at a medal at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on Saturday in the men's mass start.

Lee is the defending champion of the event, which will see skaters take a start en masse, a la short track style.

At 33, Lee has been on the downslope. It became evident early in these Olympic Games, when he, Chung Jae-won and Kim Min-seok didn't even get out of the quarterfinals of the team pursuit Sunday. The same trio had combined for a silver medal at PyeongChang 2018.

Chung, who had acted as a pacemaker for Lee in 2018, has emerged as an even stronger medal threat than Lee in the mass start. He will be pursuing his first individual Olympic medal in the mass start.

Also at the oval Saturday, Kim Bo-reum will take part in the women's mass start. Kim is the defending silver medalist.

Elsewhere on Saturday, bobsleigh pilot Won Yun-jong will enter the four-man competition at Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Yanqing, northwestern Beijing. Won is the 2018 silver medalist, but here, he will be missing his trusted brakeman Seo Young-woo, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury. (Yonhap)

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