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(LEAD) (Olympics) S. Korea's Choi Min-jeong loses 500m silver on penalty

All Headlines 22:07 February 13, 2018

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

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's teenager Choi Min-jeong lost the silver medal in the women's 500 meter short track speed skating event on a penalty on Tuesday at the ongoing PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

In the finals of the event, held at the Gangneung Ice Arena, the world No. 1 crossed the finish line a short distance after Arianna Fontana of Italy.

But the judges assessed a penalty to Choi, citing impeding.

Due to Choi's elimination, Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands and Kim Boutin of Canada won silver and bronze, respectively.

During the 4.5-lap race, Choi remained in third place until the third lap, then she moved up to second place with two laps to go. In the final lap, she tried to pass through Fontana and made contact in the final corner.

"I think they gave me penalty as there was a kind of contact in the end," the 19-year old said in a mixed zone interview, crying. "I'm sorry that I failed to meet the expectations and support that so many people gave to me."

But she said she will not give up here and is confident in overcoming the disappointing results.

"I'm confident that I can get over it. I still have three competitions left. I won't obsess over the results," she said. "If I skated far better, I wouldn't have hit her. I won't make a complaint of it."

South Korea, which has enjoyed decades-long dominance in short track speed skating, has never won gold or silver in the women's 500m at the Olympics. Only former skater Chun Lee-kyung, and Park Seung-hi, now competing in speed skating at PyeongChang, earned bronze each in 1998 and 2014 Olympics, respectively.

Choi will compete in the women's 1,500m race on Saturday, 3,000m relay Feb. 20 and 1,000m event on Feb. 22.

South Korea's Choi Min-jeong (C) skates in the women's 500m short track speed skating event of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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