Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(3rd LD) (Olympics) S. Korean speed skater Kim Min-seok grabs surprise bronze in men's 1,500m

All Headlines 23:22 February 13, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; ADDS details throughout, photo)
By Kim Boram and Kang Yoon-seung

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Kim Min-seok won bronze in the men's 1,500 meter speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Tuesday, becoming the first Asian to win a medal in the event.

He was only 0.07 second short of winning silver, and 0.92 second behind the champion. It was Kim's first race at his first Olympics.

Kim recorded a time of 1:44.93 in the race at the Gangneung Oval, following the Netherlands' Kjeld Nuis and Patrick Roest.

He is the first Asian skater to make a podium finish in the men's 1,500m distance in the Winter Olympics, since the inaugural Games in 1924.

Kim's teammate Joo Hyong-jun clocked 1:46.65, to take 17th place.

South Korean speed skater Joo Hyong-jun competes during the men's 1,500 meter race held at Gangneung Oval, located in Gangneung, around 240 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim, who was ranked at the middle of the list by clocking 23.94 seconds at 300m, continued to speed up for the remaining of the race, eventually to catch up records of other rivals.

Star players including Koen Verweij of the Netherlands and Joey Mantia of the United States all fell behind Kim.

As the speed skating has long been led by European and American athletes, Kim marked the first case for an Asian to win a medal in the distance.

"(What makes the 1,500m race attractive is) that the result is proportional to how much you practice," Kim said after winning the medal. "It is also attractive that it is about competing against myself."

South Korean speed skater Kim Min-seok cheers after winning bronze at the men's 1,500 meter race held at Gangneung Oval, located in Gangneung, around 240 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim is considered an athlete with a bright future, who is expected to follow footsteps of his senior Lee Seung-hoon, who won gold and silver at Vancouver 2010 and silver at Sochi 2014.

In February 2017, Kim clocked 1:46.05 in the men's 1,500m at the World Single Distances Championships held at Gangneung Oval, finishing at the fifth spot, posting only 0.55 second gap with Sven Kramer of the Netherlands, who then grabbed bronze.

Kim also solidified his presence in the field of speed skating after becoming the champion of last year's Asian Winter Games in the men's 1,500m. He also won another gold from the team pursuit in the event.

"I didn't think I would get the medal, but I'm pretty happy that I was able to. It's the biggest honor as an athlete to win an Olympic medal," Kim said. "This Olympics is being held in Korea so I practiced really hard. I didn't expect that much but I'm really happy to get this result."

Kim added that the secret was to maintain his original strategy.

"As usual, I increased my speed through 300m, and sought to hold on well for the remaining 700m," the bronze winner said. Kim said the spectators chanting his name also motivated him to push past his fatigue.

"I was really exhausted as I passed 700m, but I then could only hear the crowd yelling my name. That motivated me to endure," Kim said.

Joo won a silver in the team's pursuit in the 2014 Winter Games. He earned a last-minute ticket to the 1,500m race after Lee decided not to join the race.

South Korean speed skater Kim Min-seok competes during the men's 1,500 meter race held at Gangneung Oval, located in Gangneung, around 240 kilometers east of Seoul, on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!