PyeongChang, Feb 20 (IANS) South Korea won gold medal in the women’s 3,000 metre relay short track speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Games on Tuesday, taking the event’s title for two Olympics in a row.
The four-member team — Choi Min-jeong, Shim Suk-hee, Kim A-lang and Kim Ye-jin — timed 4:07.361 in the 27-lap race held in the Gangneung Ice Arena, reports Tass news agency.
The silver medal went to Italy, while the Netherlands, the winner of the B finals, took bronze as two finalists — China and Canada — were disqualified due to impeding penalties.
The Dutch set a new world record of 4:03.471 in the B finals held minutes before the A finals, breaking South Korea’s record of 4:04.222 set in 2016 at a World Cup event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
South Korea won six gold medals in the women’s 3,000m relay in the eight Winter Olympic Games that short track speed skating has been held. It swept the discipline from 1994 to 2006, then won in 2014 and 2018. In 2010, the country was disqualified in the finals.
At the same time, Choi, the anchor of the relay team, gained her second gold medal, following the title in the women’s 1,500m last week. Also, Shim won her fourth Olympic medal, after three medals four years ago.
Shim was South Korea’s first runner in the 3,000m relay race. In the first four laps, South Korea was at the tail of the four skaters, and they moved up to the third place with 22 laps to go.
South Korean skaters stayed in third place until the 24th cycle, while Canada and China exchanged the lead.
With four laps remaining, South Korea accelerated to move up to the second spot, but Kim A-lang fell on the ice after pushing her teammate Kim Ye-jin. But that did not affect Choi’s final spurt to the finish line, edging out the Chinese anchor.
China finished second and Italy was third in the first place, but China was eliminated by the referees and No. 4 Canada was penalized, too. As a result, Italy was moved up to win silver and the Netherlands got bronze.