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Australia’s Bradbury, All Rivals Fell and the Tail-Ender Won

Australia’s Bradbury, All Rivals Fell and the Tail-Ender Won

Posted February. 18, 2002 09:19,   


"He is the luckiest man."

Australia’s Steven Bradbury (29, picture), whom nobody expected to win, claimed the gold medal in the men’s 1000m short-track event on the 17th. He has no record of being in the top 5 in all individual games of Olympics and international championships. His best record was when he ran as a 5000m relay runner for the Australian team in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics to win the group bronze.

However, fortune was on his side from the beginning. Not only once, but 3 times in row…

His unbelievable `race of fortune` began in the quarterfinals. Canada’s Marc Gagnon was disqualified to let him advance to the semifinals, even though he fell during the race, and he finished the semifinals first while Kim Dong-Sung (Korea), Mathieu Turcotte (Canada), and Jiajun Li (China) slipped. The day’s highlight was the finals. Bradbury was running the last among the 5 runners in the finals, but easily won the gold medal as all the other 4 athletes fell just before the finish line. Despite the jeering audience, he raised his arms to shout for joy. He said, "I think of myself as a lucky man. God will smile at you some day, and today is my day."

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com