Sapporo, Japan (AP) — South Korea won two gold medals in short track speed skating at the Asian Winter Games on Monday, an early indication the hosts of the 2018 Winter Olympics could be regaining their dominance of the sport.
Choi Min-jeong won the women’s 1,500 meters and Park Se-yeong took top honors in the men’s 1,500.
Choi clocked a winning time of 2 minutes, 21.46 seconds to edge compatriot Shim Suk-hee by .153 seconds. Guo Yihan of China was third in 2:30.017.
“I wasn’t that focused on us coming first and second and more concerned about the skaters from the other countries,” said seven-time world champion Choi. “But it was great that we could get this result together.”
Park won the men’s event with a time of 2:34.056 while China’s Wu Dajing was second in 2:34.256. Lee Jung-su, also of South Korea, was third in 2:34.356.
South Korea has been dominant in short track speed skating since it was introduced at the Albertville Olympics in 1992 but managed only two gold medals at the Sochi Games in 2014.
South Korea also won a gold medal in speed skating.
Lee Seung-hoon won the men’s 5,000 meters with a time of 6:24.32, 5.35 seconds ahead of Ryosuke Tsuchiya of Japan. Seitaro Ichinohe of Japan was third in 6:31.84.
Nao Kodaira won gold in women’s 1,000 meters.
The Japanese skater, who has won all six World Cup events this season in the 500, recorded a new Asian record of 1 minute, 15.19 seconds, 0.12 seconds ahead of compatriot Miho Takagi. China’s Zhang Hong won the bronze in 1:15.75.
Kodaira won the silver medal in the women’s 1,000 meters the world single distances speed skating championships last week, adding to her first world gold medal in the 500.
Gao Tingyu of China won the men’s 500, clocking a time of 34.69, 0.10 seconds ahead of Tsubasa Hasegawa of Japan. Cha Min Kyu of South Korea was third in 34.94.
Zang Ruxing of China won gold in the snowboarding women’s slalom while Lee Sang-ho kicked off South Korea’s gold medal rush on the opening day of competition by winning the men’s slalom.