January 20, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games
There was nothing other nations could do to strip South Korea of ??six podium spots on the first day of the short track speed skating competition at the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid, which included the men’s and women’s 1,500m events.
In the first international race at the renovated Jack Shea Arena at the 1932 Olympic Center on Friday, Choi Min-jeong (women) and Kim Tae Sung (men) led and won their first Olympic gold medals.
Choi Min-jeong, a 24-year-old from Yonsei University, finished her final on 13 and a half laps in 2:40.301, ahead of teammates Kim Geon-hee (2:40.382) and Seo Whimin (2:40.530).
Choi Min-jeong was the absolute favorite of the race, having already won three Olympic gold medals and four world titles. She also holds the world record for this distance with an amazing 2:14.354 in 2016 in Salt Lake City, also on US soil.
“There’s something about this country that I think brings me luck,” she said after the race.
Choi Min-jeong’s smile only widened as Seulita witnessed the Koreans’ excellent performance minutes after her achievement.
With a time of 2:18.016, Lee Jeong-min (2:18.130) and Jang Sung-woo (2:18.164) followed 21-year-old Kim Tae Sung in the final.
University student Dankook and his compatriots really impressed the nearly sold-out crowd at the ice rink in 1932, especially by the way they seemed to work together on the ice. As they set their rhythm, the rest of the field could do nothing but stare at the backs of the Korean uniforms in front of them.
“I’m happy with my first gold, but I’m already focused on other races and other medals,” said a hungry Kim after the race.
Although he is more of a 500m specialist, his opponents are already warned: the South Koreans will do everything in their power to grab all the short track podiums over the next two days.
Written by Louis Gilles, a young FISU reporter
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