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Korea Dominates at World Skating Championships

Posted March. 13, 2007 03:16,   


Korea’s men’s and women’s national short track teams swept six gold medals on March 12, the last day of the World Championships, and proved once again that they are the world’s strongest team. It was an impressive reversal of events that made up for the team’s poor performance at the beginning of the championships.

Korea had their male and female star skaters Ahn Hyun-soo (Korea National Sport University, picture) and Jin Sun-yu (Dankook University), but started off with sluggish results at the championships held in Milan, Italy, winning only one gold medal in four events over the first two days.

However, on March 12, the day that the most medals were at stake, Korean skaters completely dominated. Jin Sun-yu and Jung Eun-ju placed in first and second place in the women’s 1000-meter final, Ahn Hyun-soo then won the men’s 1000-meter final, after winning only two bronze medals up until the previous day. Following this, Song Kyung-taek (Goyang City Hall) and Ahn Hyun-soo won the men’s super final 3000-meter event, and Jin Sun-yu and Jung Eun-ju dominated in the women’s super final 3000-meter event and came in first and second place, respectively. The women’s 3000-meter and men’s 5000-meter relays were also won by Korean skaters who showed superior ability.

Ahn Hyun-soo, with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, finished with an overall score of 81 points, surpassing Charles Hamelin of Canada, who scored a total of 63 points, and claimed the overall title for the fifth consecutive year. It is the first time that a male short tracker has won the title five times in a row. Among women, Chinese skater Yang Yang, now retired, set a record of taking the title for six years in a row.

Jin Sun-yu, a triple crown winner at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, also took the overall title for the third straight year, finishing with a score of 89 points, winning two gold and one silver medals. Jung Eun-ju, who recently joined the national team, tied in with Jin Sun-yu at 89 points, with one gold, two silver and one bronze, but because of the competition’s regulations that ‘in the case there is a tie, the overall title will be decided according to the results of the last event (which in this case was the super final 3000-meter event), Jung remained in second place.