(Winter Asiad) S. Korea sweeps up three speed skating titles
Feb 23, 2017
Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon salutes the crowd on the podium after winning the men's 10,000m gold medal at the Asian Winter Games at Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Rink in Obihiro, Japan, on Feb. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

South Korea swept up all three speed skating medals up for grabs Wednesday at the Asian Winter Games, bringing its gold medal tally to four with one day of races remaining.

Lee Seung-hoon was a one-man wrecking crew on Wednesday. The 5,000m champion from Monday added gold medals in the 10,000m and later in the team pursuit, along with Joo Hyong-jun and Kim Min-seok.

From left: Joo Hyong-jun, Lee Seung-hoon and Kim Min-seok celebrate their gold medal from the men's team pursuit at the Asian Winter Games at Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Rink in Obihiro, Japan, on Feb. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

Sandwiched between Lee's titles was Kim Bo-reum's gold medal in the women's 5,000m. Kim had won silver medals in both the 3,000m and team pursuit earlier in the competition at Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Rink in Obihiro, some 200 kilometers east of the main host city of Sapporo.

Speed skater Kim Bo-reum competes in the women's 5,000m at the Asian Winter Games at Obihiro Forest Speed Skating Rink in Obihiro, Japan, on Feb. 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

Lee and Kim aren't done yet. They are both favorites to win the men's and women's mass start gold medals on Thursday. They're both ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective categories, and Kim, in particular, is the reigning world champion in the event.

Lee Seung-hoon, the 2010 Olympic champion in the 10,000m, has now won three gold medals at back-to-back Asian Games, six years apart.

Lee's success here is even more remarkable, since he's essentially skating on one good leg. He cut his right leg with his own left skate in a fall during the team pursuit race at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in South Korea less than two weeks ago. He was at first considered doubtful for the Asian Games, but declared himself ready only three days after taking eight stitches to his leg.

Lee Seung-hoon had committed to the 5,000m, team pursuit and mass start at first. But he said he felt just fine after winning the 5,000m gold and decided to go ahead with the 10,000m, too.

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Source:Yonhap News




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