S. Korean skaters dominate World Cup

November 17, 2014
Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa

Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa

By Kwon Ji-youn

Triple Olympic medalist Shim Suk-hee, 17, won gold in the 1000m event at the International Skating Union (ISU) Short-track World Cup, Monday, adding to her Salt Lake City medal haul.

Shim crossed the finish line in 1:30.641 at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, Canada, to beat countrywoman Choi Min-jeong, who took silver in 1:30.703. China’s Guo Yihan finished third. Shim also contributed to Team Korea’s win in the 3000m relay.

Shim has earned a gold medal at 12 consecutive World Cups since 2012. She topped the podium in least one event at all six tournaments of the 2012-13 World Cup and all four tournaments of the 2013-14 World Cup. At this season’s World Cup opener in Salt Lake City, Shim pulled off a Triple Crown, winning the 1000m, 1500m and the 3000m relay.

Teenage short-track sensation Shim Suk-hee

Teenage short-track sensation
Shim Suk-hee

At the Sochi Olympics, Shim brought home one gold medal, one silver and a bronze.

Rookie Choi was also on top of her game at the Montreal World Cup, finishing with two gold medals in the 1500m event and the 3000m relay and silver in the 1000m. Korean skater Jeon Ji-soo finished second in the second 500m race behind Italian Arianna Fontana.

Male skater Sin Da-woon redeemed his no-medal performance at the Sochi Olympics with two consecutive golds at this season’s World Cup. In Montreal, Sin clocked 1:24.379 in the 1000m to outskate Russian skater Semen Elistratov by 0.1 seconds. Sin also contributed to a podium-top finish in the men’s 5000m relay.

Shim, Choi and Sin finished the competition with two gold medals apiece, and will attempt to add to their collection at the Shanghai World Cup on Dec. 12-14. The Seoul World Cup will take place Dec. 19-21 at the Mokdong Artificial Ice Rink.

Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa dominated both 500m races at the Speed Skating World Cup opener in Obihiro, Japan, Sunday, winning the second with a track record of 37.92 seconds. German skater Jenny Wolf had been the track record holder since 2010 with 38.03 seconds.

In the first race, Lee clocked 38.07 seconds to outskate Japanese skater Nao Kodaira by 0.11 seconds. Kodaira took silver in both events, while Russia’s Olga Fatkulina took bronze in the first race, and Austria’s Vanessa Bittner, in the second.

Lee has won gold in all 10 World Cup events since the second race of the 2012-13 World Cup final competition. Lee will attempt to extend her gold medal streak at the next World Cup event in Seoul.