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Tuesday, February 17, 1998 Published at 14:26 GMT

Sport: Winter Olympics 98: Speed Skating (Short Track)

Double gold for South Korea
image: [ Kim Dong-sung took victory by three thousandths of a second. ]
Kim Dong-sung took victory by three thousandths of a second.

South Korea captured its first medals of the Nagano Olympics on Tuesday - both gold - as Kim Dong-sung won by a skate blade in a short track speedskating men's race and his team-mates took the women's relay.

The Korean 3,000-metre relay team also broke its own world record, retaining their Olympic gold medal.

China won the silver medals in both races, also its first medals of these games. Canada was third in both events.

Dipped at the line

Kim Dong-Sung, the 1997 world champion, trailed most of the race but stuck his skate blade across the finish line to edge China's Li Jiajun in the men's 1,000 metres.

Kim's daring move made him a winner in 1 minute, 32.375 seconds to Li's 1:32.428. Eric Bedard of Canada was third in 1:32.661.

In the women's relay, South Korea, which returned three of the four skaters from Lillehammer, won in 4 minutes, 16.26 seconds to China's 4:16.383. Canada, the 1992 gold medalist, took the bronze in 4:21.205.

The top two teams both broke the world record of 4:17.630 set on December 8, 1996, by a South Korean quartet.

Chun Lee-kyung, Won Hye-kyung, An Sang-mi and Kim Yun-mi skated for the gold medal team. Chun, Won and An also had been on the 1996 world record team.

In the 1994 Olympics, South Korea won four gold medals, all in short track speedskating.

About 50 South Korean supporters wearing silver coats chanted their skaters' names, maintaining a constant rhythm with cow bells and choreographed flag waving.


But the Japanese grew quiet when one of their favorites, Hitoshi Uematsu, was disqualified for interfering with Gabel in a quarter final.

The world record holder, Marc Gagnon of Canada, was also disqualified for interference - a reversal of four years ago, when he did not skate in the finals, yet got the bronze because of two disqualifications.

Britain's Nicky Gooch, the 1994 silver medalist, was disqualified in his heat. His team-mate, Matt Jasper, finished eighth in the competition.

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