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(LEAD) (Olympics) Lim Hyo-jun wins S. Korea's first gold in men's 1,500m short track

All Headlines 22:17 February 10, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more details from 5th para, photo)
By Kim Boram and Kang Yoon-seung

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Lim Hyo-jun won the men's 1,500 meter short track speed skating event on Saturday to bring the host country its first gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Lim crossed the finish line in an Olympic record time of 2:10.485, in the men's 1,500m finals at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, the sub-host city of the PyeongChang Olympics, which started on the previous day for a 17-day run.

He reached the top of the podium in his first Olympics on home soil.

Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands took the silver medal and Semen Elistratov of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) finished third.

South Korea's Lim Hyo-jun (L) races with Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands (C) and Semen Elistratov of OAR in the men's 1,500m finals of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Ice Arena on Feb. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)

But his teammate Hwang Dae-heon, the current No. 1 in the discipline's world ranking, did not finish the race after he fell.

In the men's 1,500m final, the two South Koreans started the 13.5-lap race in the middle of the nine-man pack. With nine laps to go, Lim and Hwang moved to the front, but soon Dutch Knegt gained the lead.

Lim boosted up to return to his top position with two laps to go and stayed in the spot until the finish line.

Lim's gold medal is the country's first Olympic medal in men's short track in eight years, as male skaters failed to win any medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The women's team earned gold in the 3,000m relay and 1,000m in Sochi.

Meanwhile, North Korea's Choe Un-song, who was injured during a pre-Olympic practice, failed to reach the semifinals after finishing sixth in a preliminary session.

"He did his best until the end of the race," coach Yun Chol said in a mixed-zone interview, adding that his athlete was too tired to have an interview.

brk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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