Korean inline skaters win 2 golds
By Yoon Chul
Korean inline skaters Woo Hyo-sook and Son Geun-seong each took gold in the women’s and men’s 10,000-meter points-elimination events at the Guangzhou Velodrome at the Asian Games, Wednesday.
Woo acquired 31 points to beat Guo Dan (20 points) of China and Pan Yi-Chin (17 points) of Taiwan in the women’s event.
The 24-year-old has been dominating the sport. At the World Championships, she took home three gold medals in 2008 and two gold and two silver medals in 2009. In the Asian Championships in July she won two golds.
On the men’s side Son and Choi Gwang-ho skated against each other and finished with the gold and silver for Korea earning 26 and 25 points respectively.
Chinese skater Cong Siyuan took bronze with 17 points.
In the 10,000-meter points-elimination the leader and runner-up for every two laps acquire two and one points, respectively, for 50 laps but in the last lap the top three skaters can receive three, two and one points.
Skaters with the fewest points are eliminated every few laps but how many drop out each time changes from race to race, depending on the number of participants.
In Guangzhou 11 skaters advanced to the final round and five of them were eliminated in the men’s event while four of 10 were eliminated on the women’s side.
After Woo confirmed her victory, she seemed really happy and was eager to dedicate the gold medal to her grandmother, who had suffered a stroke for more than two years.
But just before Woo went to the podium for the medal ceremony she heard that her grandmother died last week.
Woo’s touching story made fans appreciate her victory even more.
“Her grandmother had already passed away, and after I discussed the situation with her parents, we decided not to inform her of the sad news,” head coach Kang Dae-sig said.
“Actually Woo asked me she hoped to call her grandmother yesterday. It was really hard to stop her,” added Kang.
Woo’s grandmother had been a fervent supporter, cheering her on even though she needed to be wheeled into venues.