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(2nd LD) S. Korean speed skater injured in fall at worlds

All Headlines 22:52 February 10, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with skater's condition)
By Yoo Jee-ho

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Lee Seung-hoon will miss the rest of the speed skating world championships after suffering a leg injury during a race Friday.

Lee lost his balance trying to turn a corner and fell in the latter stage of the men's team pursuit race at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

Lee, who helped South Korea to the team pursuit silver at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, cut his right leg with his own left skate. He stayed on the ice for a few minutes to receive treatment on his injured leg, and was later stretchered off the ice.

South Korea's Lee Seung-hoon takes a fall during the men's team pursuit race at the International Skating Union World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

According to an official from the Korea Skating Union (KSU), Lee's injury required eight stitches. Though he didn't suffer any structural damage, the injury will still rule him out of the mass start on Sunday.

Lee, a former Olympic 10,000m champion, is the current world No. 1 in mass start. Lee's status for the Asian Winter Games, set to start on Feb. 19 in Sapporo, Japan, also remains murky.

He and his two teammates, Joo Hyong-jun and Kim Min-seok, had been considered a medal hopeful in the team pursuit here. They won a silver and a bronze in three ISU World Cup team pursuit races this season to rank sixth overall.

In team pursuit, a set of three skaters compete over eight laps for men and six laps for women. The team is timed when the last of the three skaters crosses the line.

The Netherlands won the men's team pursuit title in 3:40.66, while New Zealand finished second in 3:41.08 and Norway took the bronze in 3:41.60.

South Korea's Lee Seung-hoon (C) is placed on a stretcher after sustaining an apparent leg injury in a fall at the International Skating Union World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

Earlier Friday, South Korea finished fifth among eight teams in the women's team pursuit. The trio of Kim Bo-reum, Noh Seon-yeong and Park Ji-woo finished their race in 3:02.95.

The Netherlands won the gold in 2:55.85, followed by Japan (2:56.50) and Russia (3:00.51).

The Netherlands has swept up five gold medals in six events after two days of competition here.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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