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Posted : 2018-02-13 21:35
Updated : 2018-02-14 15:35

Korean teenager wins bronze in men's 1500m speed skating

Kim Min-seok won the bronze medal in the men's 1,500-mteter speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Tuesday, becoming the first Asian athlete to claim a medal in the event. / Yonhap


By Yi Whan-woo


Kim Min-seok won the bronze medal in the men's 1,500-mteter speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Tuesday, becoming the first Asian athlete to claim a medal in the event.

The 18-year-old skated in 1 minute, 44.93 seconds in his Olympic debut at the Gangnueng Oval, finishing behind two Dutch skaters — Kjeld Nuis and Patrick Roest who each clocked 1:44.01 seconds and 1.44.86 seconds.

He got third place after beating fourth-placed Haralds Silovs of Latvia by 0.32 seconds in a head-to-head race.

A total of 35 contestants competed in the 1,500 meters.

They included Joo Hyong-jun, who skated in 1:46.65 seconds for 17th place.

A high school student, Kim emerged as South Korea's speed skating prospect in 2017 after winning four titles at the National Winter Sports Festival and a surprise gold medal in the men's 1,500 meters at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.

Kim Min-seok won the bronze medal in the men's 1,500-mteter speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Tuesday, becoming the first Asian athlete to claim a medal in the event. / Yonhap

Kim was the youngest competitor in the 1,500 meters for the 2017 International Skating Union (ISU) World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at the Gangneung Oval in the sub-host city of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.


He set a national junior record of 1 minute, 46.05 seconds and finished fifth.

His time was only 0.55 seconds behind that of bronze medalist Sven Kramer, a Dutch super star and long track speed skater who joined the competition as a test event for the PyeongChang Olympics.

Kim said he learned a great deal from watching Lee Seung-hoon, who is his role model, performing on the international stage.

At the 2017 championships, Lee won four titles despite having eight stitches in his right leg.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands, a speed skating power house, kept up the stunning medal pace of the 2014 Sochi Games, where they finished with 23 out of 36.

The event was seriously affected by the exclusion of Denis Yuskov, who has been a dominating force over 1,500, as part of the Russian doping scandal.

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