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(LEAD) S. Korean Choi Min-jeong defends world short track title at home

All News 17:41 March 13, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS relay results at bottom)

SEOUL, March 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean short tracker Choi Min-jeong defended her world overall title on home ice Sunday.

Choi finished first among all female skaters with 66 points over two days at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Short Track Speed Skating Championships at Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul. The points were accumulated over 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m and 3,000 super final races.

Marianne St-Gelais of Canada finished second with 63 points, and Elise Christie of Britain ranked third with 47 points.

Choi is the first South Korean since Jin Sun-yu (2005-2007) to repeat as the world champion. This is the third short track world championships in South Korea and Choi is the first, man or woman, to win the overall title on home ice.

Choi won the 1,000m earlier Sunday in 1 minute, 31.933 seconds, beating Christie by 0.047 second. It turned out to be the only individual gold medal by a South Korean skater this weekend. Choi won silver in the 1,500m Saturday.

Choi was the only South Korean in the final, with Shim Suk-hee and No Do-hee both knocked out in the quarterfinals.

Choi started the race in front and took the lead with six laps remaining. She then held off Christie for the victory.

In the super final -- with only the top eight in the points race eligible -- Choi fell to the back of the pack after tripping over the skate of China's Qu Chunyu, but recovered to finish sixth and earn three points for the rankings.

St-Gelais, who beat Choi for the 1,500m title Saturday, finished fifth in the super final and added five points, coming up three behind the South Korean in the final rankings.

In the men's competition, Park Se-yeong finished second in the 3,000m super final but ended fourth overall with 39 points. Han Tianyu of China won the men's title with 68 points.

South Korea hasn't produced a male overall champion since Sin Da-woon in 2013.

Earlier Sunday, Seo Yi-ra finished fourth in the men's 1,000m, as Charles Hamelin and Samuel Girard of Canada finished first and second.

Two other South Koreans, Kwak Yoon-gy and Park Se-yeong, failed to make the 1,000m final.

South Korea later captured the women's 3,000m relay title, as the team of Noh Do-hee, Shim Suk-hee, Lee Eun-byul and Choi Min-jeong finished the race in 4:19.545. Canada finished second with 4:20.193. China crossed the line first but was later disqualified, moving South Korea from silver to gold.

The South Korean men's team won bronze in the 5,000m relay. Park Se-yeong, Kwak Yoon-gy, Seo Yi-ra and Park Ji-won finished in 7:05.652, as China and Canada took gold and silver.


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