AFP-Jiji GANGNEUNG (AFP-Jiji) — Short-track speed skater Lim Hyo Jun claimed a first gold medal for South Korea on Saturday as the host made a triumphant start to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Lim got South Korea off the mark on the first full day of action in the men’s 1,500 meters in front of an ecstatic, near-capacity 12,000 crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
In a frenetic final the 21-year-old saw off Dutch world record-holder Sjinkie Knegt with Semen Elistratov, one of the Russians competing as an independent, in third.
With South Korea’s President Moon Jae In watching, together with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Lim delivered the goods to further embellish South Korea’s dazzling record in the sport with its 22nd short track title.
South Korea had two shots at the target, but Hwang Dae Heon crashed out of the final, causing a collective groan from the home supporters.
Canada’s Sochi 2014 champion Charles Hamelin scraped into the nine-skater climax in a four-way photo-finish in his semifinal, but there was to be no repeat for the bearded 33-year-old as he picked up a penalty.Speech