Posted : 2018-02-13 22:37
Updated : 2018-02-14 16:50

Male short tracker cruise into 1,000m quarterfinals

By Baek Byung-yeul

Korea's male short track speed skaters continued to display a strong presence in their 1,000-meter action at the PyeongChang Olympics, Tuesday.

In the men's 1,000m heats at the Gangneung Ice Arena, the trio of Lim Hyo-jun, Seo Yi-ra and Hwang Dae-heon advanced easily to the quarterfinals.

Lim, who claimed the host country's first gold medal after finishing first in the men's 1,500m, Saturday, finished first in Heat 2 with a time of 1 minute and 23.971 seconds.

In the nine-lap event, Lim took the lead on lap five and maintained it to make the quarterfinals. Kazuki Yoshinaga of Japan finished second with a time of 1:24.030.

In Heat 6, world champion Seo advanced to the quarterfinals with a time of 1:24.734. Though he finished third, a penalty against Han Tianyu of China allowed him advance to the quarterfinals. The 18-year-old Hwang cruised into the quarterfinals after finishing first in Heat 7 with a time of 1:24.457.

In Heat 5, Charles Hamelin of Canada set an Olympic record after posting 1:23.407, breaking the previous record of 1:23.747 held by Korea's Lee Jung-su.

The gold medal event of the men's 1,000m will be held Saturday. Unfortunately, the three skaters have been placed in the same group, and only the first and second placed can qualify for the semifinals.

Korea has been strong in the event as the country has produced six of seven gold medalists at the Olympics including Victor An, who took Russia citizenship in 2011. An won the event at the 2014 Sochi Games. It also remains to be seen whether Seo can claim the gold medal as no skater has won the Olympic gold while being world champion.

Korea sets Olympic record in men's 5,000m relay

Following the good news in the men's 1,000m, Korea also advanced to the finals of the men's 5,000m relay event with an Olympic record.

Comprised of Hwang, Lim, Kim Do-kyoum and Kwak Yoon-gy, Korea posted 6:34.510 to finish first in Heat 2, while Hungary finished second with 6:34.866.

China set an Olympic record after posting 6:36.605 in Heat 1, but it soon became a thing of past.

If Korea wins the event, the host country will join a part of Olympic history as the host countries have won the relay event in the previous two Winter Games. Korea claimed two gold medals in this event at the 1992 Albertville Olympics and the 2006 Torino Olympics. The gold medal event will be held Thursday.

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