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(Olympics) Distraught short tracker says penalty won't affect remaining races

All Headlines 22:26 February 13, 2018

By Kim Boram and Kang Yoon-seung

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- Distraught after getting her first Olympic medal snatched from her grasp on Tuesday, South Korean short track speed skater Choi Min-jeong said her disappointment won't affect her remaining races.

Choi appeared to take silver behind Arianna Fontana of Italy after a photo finish in the 500-meter final at Gangneung Ice Arena. Choi's elation of winning her first Olympic medal was short lived, however, as she was penalized for impeding Fontana during the 4 1/2-lap race.

The 19-year-old South Korean was crying as she faced reporters after the race.

South Korean short track speed skater Choi Min-jeong looks up at the board after finishing the women's 500-meter final at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 13, 2018. Choi came in second behind Arianna Fontana of Italy but was penalized for impeding Fontana. (Yonhap)

"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."

Choi said the referee must have ruled she made some contact with Fontana near the end, saying, "From the angle the referee was watching the race, I think there was a good reason that I was penalized."

"I was going to accept whatever results I ended up getting, and so I have no regrets," Choi added. "This won't affect my remaining competitions."

Choi said she was overcome with emotion because she began thinking about just how hard she'd worked to get to this point. The two-time world overall champion was considered a favorite to win South Korea's first gold in the women's 500m short track.

"Now that this is done and over with, I am actually relieved," Choi added. "My coach gave me some feedback and I was able to regroup."

South Korean short track speed skater Choi Min-jeong (R) embraces Arianna Fontana of Italy after finishing the women's 500-meter final at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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