Short Track Skater Choi Min-jeong Disqualified in 500-m Race

中央日報
Choi Min-jeong (center) tries to take the lead in women’s 500-m short track speed skating in Gangneung, Gangwon Province on Tuesday. /Yonhap

Choi Min-jeong finished just 22 cm behind the leader in women's 500-m short track speed skating on Tuesday, but a disqualification kept her from earning a medal.

She was penalized for impeding Kim Boutin of Canada while trying to overtake her during the race and lost the silver medal.

Italian veteran Arianna Fontana took the gold medal, Yara Van Kerkhof of the Netherlands silver and Kim bronze.

Choi had been hoping to win gold in all short track events at Pyeongchang.

"I was able to have a good race in the final thanks to lots of support," said Choi emotionally. "I did not want to leave with any regrets as I prepared as best I could. I accept the result and will focus on the remaining competitions." 

Choi still has three more shots at the top spot herself. The 1,500-m event is scheduled for Saturday, while the 3,000-m relay takes place next Tuesday followed by the 1,000-m race, where Choi is a strong favorite, two days later.

Meanwhile, the men's short track team had a better day. All three skaters who competed in the men's 1,000-m heats -- Lim Hyo-jun, Seo Yi-ra and Hwang Dae-heon -- advanced to the final 16. Coincidentally, all three will meet in the same group in the next round, so at least one will be eliminated as only the top two advance to the semifinal.

In the men's 5,000-m relay, Korea set an Olympic record of 6:34.51 to advance to the final with Canada, China and Hungary.

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