South Korea’s Lim Hyo-jun won the men’s 1,500 meter short track speed skating event on Saturday to bring the host country its first gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.Lim crossed the finish line in an Olympic record time of 2:10.485, in the men’s 1,500m finals at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, the sub-host city of the PyeongChang Olympics, which started on the previous day for a 17-day run.He reached the top of the podium in his first Olympics on home soil.Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands took the silver medal and Semen Elistratov of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) finished third. But his teammate Hwang Dae-heon, the current No. 1 in the discipline’s world ranking, did not finish the race after he fell.In the men’s 1,500m final, the two South Koreans started the 13.5-lap race in the middle of the nine-man pack. With nine laps to go, Lim and Hwang moved to the front, but soon Dutch Knegt gained the lead.Lim boosted up to return to his top position with two laps to go and stayed in the spot until the finish line.He said his victory at his first Olympics hasn’t fully hit him yet.I can’t believe this. It’s a big competition,” said the 21-year old in a mixed-zone interview. “I stood at the top of the podium, but I didn’t make it by myself. Coaches and other teammates trained hard together. I want to thank them all.He added he will do his utmost to top the men’s 5,000m relay, which South Korea hasn’t won in 12 years.I’m pleased with today’s results, but I don’t stop racing until the 5,000m relay,” he said. “It’s all or nothing for the team.The skater said he want to thank Victor An, the South Korea-born short track speed skater who was not invited to PyeongChang due to him allegedly being involved in Russia’s state-sponsored doping, for giving him advice before the competition.An, whose Korean name is Ahn Hyun-soo, won six gold in two previous Olympics, including three for South Korea at 2006 Torino.I dreamed of this Olympic competition when I saw him skate at the 2006 Torino Olympics. He is my role model,” said Lim. “I felt sorry for the news. It would be great to skate with him here.” Lim’s gold medal is the country’s first Olympic medal in men’s short track in eight years, as male skaters failed to win any medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.The women’s team earned gold in the 3,000m relay and 1,000m in Sochi.Meanwhile, North Korea’s Choe Un-song, who was injured during a pre-Olympic practice, failed to reach the semifinals after finishing sixth in a preliminary session.He did his best until the end of the race,” coach Yun Chol said in a mixed-zone interview, adding that his athlete was too tired to have an interview.Lim Hyo-jun of South Korea upset defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada to win the men’s short track speed skating 1,500 meters gold medal of the PyeongChang Winter Games here on Saturday.Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands narrowly missed the chance to become the first Dutch short track speed skater to win an Olympic gold medal as he took the silver at 2:10.555 while the bronze medal went to Semen Elistratov, a member of the title winning Russian men’s relay team at the Sochi Games four years ago.Staying back in the pack early in the nine-man final, Lim overtook the lead with two laps to go and held on to cross the line first with two minutes and 10.484 seconds.The 21-year-old Lim also shattered the Olympic record of 2:10.949 which was set by his compatriot Lee Jung-su at the Vancouver Games in 2010.Hamelin, who had become the oldest male athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual short track event aged 29 years and 302 days at the Sochi Games, was disqualified for impeding. Another title favorite Hwang Dae-heon of South Korea crashed out of the race half way and did not finish.Chinese Han Tianyu, the silver medalist behind Hamelin four years ago, failed to reach the final before settling for the eighth place. Lim Hyojun won gold in the 1500m short track speed skating to give Olympic hosts South Korea their first medal at the Pyeongchang Games in front of a jubilant crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Saturday (Feb 10).
In an unusually crowded final with nine skaters, the 21-year-old took over after defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin fell out of the lead early and incurred a penalty. Lim finished first in 2:10.485.I was overwhelmed because it’s my home country,” Lim told a news conference.Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands took silver, finishing 0.70 seconds behind Lim, while Olympic Athlete from Russia Semen Elistratov won the bronze.Hamelin, a pre-event favourite, was looking to become the first short track speed skater to win a gold medal at three different Olympic Games but the 33-year-old Canadian, who had originally finished sixth, was given a penalty for impeding.Speaking to reporters after his disappointing performance, Hamelin said it was difficult for him to tell whether he had deserved the penalty. made a mistake,” he said. “It might have cost me a better position and even the race. I ended up at the back of the pack. In a race with nine skaters, you never want to end up in the back.Earlier on Saturday, South Korea’s Choi Minjeong set an Olympic record in the women’s 500m with a 42.870-second finish in her heat to qualify for the quarter-finals taking place on Tuesday.Canada’s Marianne St Gelais, who won silver in the 500m in Sochi, finished first in her 500m heat with a time of 43.437 seconds. Her team mate Kim Boutin also cruised to the 500m quarter-finals by winning her heat with 43.634 seconds.Rising American star Maame Biney held off South Korea’s Kim Alang to finish second in her 500m heat behind China’s Fan Kexin and qualify for the quarter-finals.Short-track speed skater Lim Hyo-jun paid tribute to banned Victor An after claiming host nation South Korea’s first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Saturday.Lim got Korea off the mark on the first full day of action in the men’s 1500m, to the delight of an ecstatic, near-capacity 12,000 crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.And his first thoughts were for the Korean-born naturalised Russian An, the sport’s most decorated Olympian who was ruled ineligible after Russia were banned for systemic doping.Victor told me that I could do this, I’ve had lots of advice from him,” said Lim.When I first saw him racing I dreamed of becoming a gold medallist.When I heard the news, (of An’s exclusion) it was really dreadful, it would be an honour to race against him.I thank Victor for this win,” said the 25-year-old.In a frenetic final, Lim saw off Dutch world record-holder Sjinkie Knegt with Semen Elistratov, one of the Russians competing as a neutral, in third.I dedicate this bronze to all the guys who could not make it here,” said Elistratov, referring to the Russians — including An — who were not invited to the Games.I’m very grateful to the Russian fans who managed to come to these Games to support our team because right now it is indeed a difficult situation we are experiencing.With South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in watching, together with American Vice-President Mike Pence, Lim delivered the goods to further embellish Korea’s dazzling record in the sport with their 22nd short track title.Korea had two shots at the target but Hwang Dae-heon crashed out of the final, causing a collective groan from the homex supporters.Canada’s Sochi 2014 champion Charles Hamelin scraped into the nine-skater climax in a four-way photo-finish in his semi-final, but there was to be no repeat for the bearded 33-year-old as he picked up a penalty.Also on Saturday, South Korea’s skating golden girl Choi Min-jeong remained on target for a potential four-gold medal haul.The 19-year-old set a new Olympic record in her 500m heat to progress to next week’s quarter-finals.And she also helped her country win the 3,000m relay semi-final, also in a new Olympic mark roared on by deafening support.Choi is also fancied for gold in the 1,000m and 1,500m.Meanwhile also making it through to the 500m quarter-finals was Maame Biney, the sport’s first female African-American Olympian, who made it as runner-up in her heat.And Britain’s Elise Christie, disqualified three times at Sochi four years ago, sailed through in her heat.Earlier North Korea’s first competitor at Pyeongchang got a big cheer as he tried in vain to make it out of his 1,500m heat.Around 100 cheerleaders from North Korea let rip in support for Choe Un Song, but the 25-year-old was eliminated all the same.South Korea’s first gold medalist at PyeongChang Olympics Lim Hyo-jun said Sunday that he will never let his guard down to bring home more gold, while competing on home soil at the world’s biggest winter sports competition.
It was like a dream come true. It’s still incredible that I won gold,” the 21-year old said at the medal ceremony held at the PyeongChang Medal Plaza in PyeongChang. “But there are still many competitions out there. I’ll do my best to keep this tempo further.”In the ceremony, he stood on the top of the podium, with Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands on his right for silver and Semen Elistratov of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) on left for bronze.In a cold wind and freezing drizzle, hundreds of fans, gathered at an outdoor stage, shouted for the Olympic stars.Lim won the men’s 1,500m finals on Saturday at Gangneung Ice Arena, bringing home the first gold at this year’s Olympics on the first day of competition.Silver medalist Knegt addressed a controversy over a photo taken on Saturday at a ceremony where the skaters received presents. In the picture, he was holding a mascot, with his middle finger up.It looked like I put up the middle finger. It’s not intended,said the Dutch skater. “I just looked very bad in the photo, but it was not on purpose. I was just holding the present.This is not the first time that Knegt has been involved in such conduct. At the 2014 European championships, he was disqualified for directing an obscene gesture at South Korean-Russian competitor Victor An. The first full day of competition got underway Saturday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea with many events happening overnight. Here’s what you may have missed.Canada continued to stay hot on the rink as curlers John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes made it to the top of the round-robin standings after beating Switzerland’s Jenny Perrett and Martin Rios 7-2 in six ends. It was Canada’s fourth win in a row.Parrot placed first overall in the second heat after the 23-year-old posted an 87.36 total on his second run. Teammate McMorris took second, posting a score of 86.83 while Nicholson qualified after finishing fifth in the heat, scoring 79.21 on his second run. The top six riders from each heat move on to the final round.In the men’s 1,500-meter short track, defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada was penalized for impeding and finished far back anyway. Lim surged past Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands and finished about two blade lengths ahead in an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 10.485 seconds.While Canada advanced to the final in women’s 3,000 meter long track, the team did not medal. Ivanie Blondin finished sixth, Isabelle Weiudermann finished seventh and Brianne Tutt finished 20th.Team USA has earned its first medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics, thanks to teen snowboarder Red Gerard.Saturday also brought good news to several other American athletes in figure skating and short-track.Red Gerard won the United States’ first gold medal at the PyeongChang Olympics in men’s slopestyle snowboarding.The 17-year-old from Silverthorne, Colorado defeated Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris after putting up a score of 87.16 in his third run.Gerard is the second straight American to win slopestyle snowboarding, which made its Olympic debut four years ago.American figure skaters have made it to the next round of the team event. The top five highest-scoring teams from the short programs advanced to the free program round.On Saturday night, the sister-brother team of Maia and Alex Shibutani, known as the “Shib Sibs,” ended up in second place in the ice dance – short dance, adding nine points to the Team USA’s overall score.In her Olympic debut, 20-year-old Bradie Tennell placed fifth in the ladies single skating short program, adding six points to the team’s score.The team event wraps up Sunday night, followed by the first medal ceremony of the 2018 Olympic figure skating competition. Lim Hyo-jun won South Korea’s first gold medal in men’s 1,500-meter short track, setting off a huge roar from the crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena.Lim surged past Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands and finished about two blade lengths ahead in an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 10.485 seconds. Knegt settled for the silver medal, while the bronze went to Semen Elistratov, who became Russia’s first medalist of the games.American teenager Maame Biney advanced safely through to the quarterfinals of the short track 500 meters, and she lit up when talking about her first Olympic experience.I don’t know why I smile so much,” Biney told USA TODAY Sports in a recent interview. “I guess it’s always been my thing. Whenever I am sad I always go make myself smile again. I don’t like feeling sad. It’s not a fun feeling.Biney was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. as a 5-year-old. She was the first African-American woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speed skating team.The Korean women’s hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from North and South, was defeated 8-0 by Switzerland on Saturday in its debut game. But the moment was too important to be overshadowed by a loss.I think a unified one is stronger than two divided ones … If North and South Korea will send unified teams on sports and all other sectors, we’ll have good results,” North Korean player Jong Su Hyon said after the game.
Russian athletes are a “major focus” for anti-doping tests, a senior Olympic official said on Sunday, as it emerged that the first Russian medallist in Pyeongchang served a drugs suspension.Semen Elistratov, who took bronze in the men’s 1,500m short track speed skating on Saturday, was briefly suspended in 2016 after testing positive for meldonium – the same substance that saw Maria Sharapova banned.The 27-year-old Elistratov is one of 168 athletes competing as a neutral “Olympic Athlete from Russia”, after Russia’s team was suspended as punishment for systemic doping.Richard Budgett, medical director for the International Olympic Committee, said meldonium was a “special issue” and it seemed that Elistratov took the drug before it was banned at the start of 2016.Russian tennis star Sharapova, a former world number one, served a 15-month ban after testing positive for meldonium in early 2016.Because of the way it’s metabolised, it can stay in the system for many, many months, even nine months after it had been taken,” Budgett said.So if the cases were consistent with meldonium intake before it was prohibited, then that would not be considered an anti-doping rule violation.We have to be realistic – meldonium was used in a widespread way throughout Eastern Europe and Russia and was considered to be a tonic, a type of cardiac stimulant that was not prohibited.But of course, quite rightly it was then prohibited and because it was such widespread use there were a large number of cases.Elistratov reportedly also took aim at the “hard and unfair” exclusion of many Russian athletes, comments that will be scrutinised as the IOC considers lifting Russia’s Olympic ban in time for the 25 February closing ceremony.Budgett said the Olympic Athletes from Russia had been heavily tested before the Games and remained under scrutiny in Pyeongchang, where about 2,500 doping controls were expected.The Olympic Athletes from Russia obviously were a major focus for both the pre-Games taskforce and now at the Games,” he said.And so we can be confident that the Olympic Athletes from Russia are clean. But obviously because of the history we have to have great vigilance.Clearly there’s a history of doping in Russian athletes so they’re in a high-risk group,” Budgett said. “In the pre-Games testing… they’ve been tested far more than any other athletes.The last Winter Olympics at Sochi in 2014 was marked by flagrant cheating by Russia, who used a “mousehole” in the laboratory wall to switch dirty samples.Budgett promised there would be no repeat in Pyeongchang, where the laboratory is under round-the-clock video surveillance and will be monitored by experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IOC.He added that an entire set of 4,000 new testing bottles had been ordered, replacing the previous model after it emerged they could be opened and resealed without detection.Kazakhstani short-track speed skaters will not be seen in action in the Men’s 1,500m semifinals as they failed to qualify, Kazinform reports. Denis Nikisha of Kazakhstan clocked the distance in 2:14.847 and finished 4th on Heat 4. Unfortunately, his result was not enough to advance to the semifinals as only the first, second and third placed skaters from each race qualify. Another short-track speed skater from Kazakhstan Nurbergen Zhumagaziyev finished 6th on Heat 6. During the race he slipped and fell. After the unfortunate incident Zhumagaziyev told Kazinform correspondent that he will do his best during the Men’s 500m, 1,000m and 5,000m races.