Short track coach vows to extend winning atmosphere at worlds

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Short track coach vows to extend winning atmosphere at worlds

Song Kyung-taek
South Korea's national short track speed skating head coach, Song Kyung-taek, on Tuesday vowed to keep up his side's winning atmosphere at the upcoming world championships following their impressive World Cup season.

South Korean short trackers returned home after completing their 2018-19 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season. In five World Cups, South Koreans combined 16 gold medals.

"The skaters worked very hard and they earned the results as planned," Song said to reporters at Incheon International Airport. "But since we have an important event coming up, we'll have to start again."

South Korean skaters will resume their training at the National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, south of Seoul, to prepare for the ISU World Short Track Championships that starts on March 8 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This season, the men's side especially stood out. The male short trackers won 11 gold medals, and at the last two World Cup stops in Dresden, Germany, and Torino, Italy, they swept gold medals in individual events.

Lim Hyo-jun, 22, and Hwang Dae-heon, 19, who both rose to international stardom through the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, each won three World Cup gold medals this season.

Song said the men's team is having a successful generational shift.

"We have great skaters on this team, and we have a big pool of talented athletes," he said. "The skaters did very well to inspire others."

Compared with the men's, the women's team struggled with just five gold medals this season. They had no gold medals at the last World Cup in Torino, Italy.

Still, Song said that the female skaters did an admirable job despite dealing with various issues. While their ace Choi Min-jeong suffered from an ankle injury, veteran Shim Suk-hee had to deal with psychological pressure after she revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by former coach Cho Jae-beom in the past.

Shim, a two-time Olympic champion, had no individual medal in this season's World Cup. She had to skip events at the World Cup in Torino due to flu.

"Choi had to skip practices for two weeks after her injury," he said. "Shim did the best she could. It's still meaningful that she overcame difficulties and was able to produce results."

For the upcoming worlds, Song said his team will train more carefully and will try to do well in team events. South Korea only had one team gold ― women's 3,000-meter relay at Salt Lake City World Cup ― this season.

"There were some bad refereeing decisions at the World Cup in our team events," he said. "Although we had good results in individual events, we'll not get too carried away."(Yonhap)


Song Kyung-taek
South Korea's national short track speed skating head coach, Song Kyung-taek, on Tuesday vowed to keep up his side's winning atmosphere at the upcoming world championships following their impressive World Cup season.

South Korean short trackers returned home after completing their 2018-19 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season. In five World Cups, South Koreans combined 16 gold medals.

"The skaters worked very hard and they earned the results as planned," Song said to reporters at Incheon International Airport. "But since we have an important event coming up, we'll have to start again."

South Korean skaters will resume their training at the National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, south of Seoul, to prepare for the ISU World Short Track Championships that starts on March 8 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This season, the men's side especially stood out. The male short trackers won 11 gold medals, and at the last two World Cup stops in Dresden, Germany, and Torino, Italy, they swept gold medals in individual events.

Lim Hyo-jun, 22, and Hwang Dae-heon, 19, who both rose to international stardom through the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, each won three World Cup gold medals this season.

Song said the men's team is having a successful generational shift.

"We have great skaters on this team, and we have a big pool of talented athletes," he said. "The skaters did very well to inspire others."

Compared with the men's, the women's team struggled with just five gold medals this season. They had no gold medals at the last World Cup in Torino, Italy.

Still, Song said that the female skaters did an admirable job despite dealing with various issues. While their ace Choi Min-jeong suffered from an ankle injury, veteran Shim Suk-hee had to deal with psychological pressure after she revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by former coach Cho Jae-beom in the past.

Shim, a two-time Olympic champion, had no individual medal in this season's World Cup. She had to skip events at the World Cup in Torino due to flu.

"Choi had to skip practices for two weeks after her injury," he said. "Shim did the best she could. It's still meaningful that she overcame difficulties and was able to produce results."

For the upcoming worlds, Song said his team will train more carefully and will try to do well in team events. South Korea only had one team gold ― women's 3,000-meter relay at Salt Lake City World Cup ― this season.

"There were some bad refereeing decisions at the World Cup in our team events," he said. "Although we had good results in individual events, we'll not get too carried away."(Yonhap)




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