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Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 04:01 GMT

China win title at last

Five-time world overall women's short-track speed skating champion Yang Yang (A) won China's first ever Winter Olympic gold medal with a runaway victory in the 500 metre final.

Yang Yang, putting behind her a dismal fourth place finish in the 1,500m three days ago, led from start to finish to cross the line in 44.187 seconds.

World-record holder and four-time European champion Evgenia Radanova followed home 0.065 seconds behind.

Another Chinese, Wang Chunju, the world champion in the shortest distance came in third, two-hundredths of a second further behind.

Return to form

Yang was happy make up for her disappointing fourth in the 1,500m earlier in the Games.

"It was a nightmare after the 1,500m loss," Yang said.

"I felt too much pressure. I cried several times. I could not sleep."

But she said that a meeting with members of the Chinese Olympic delegation helped calm her down.

"I felt liberated later, and that's how I adjusted myself to compete in this 500m.

Yang's name is tagged with the letter A to distinguish her from her younger team-mate and namesake Yang Yang (S).

The 25-year-old is also the overall World Cup winner this season with the top points in the 1,000m and 1,500m.

Yang Yang (S) did not compete in the 500 metres.

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