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S. Korea picks up team sprint bronze at Speed Skating World Cup

2017/11/13 07:52

SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea picked up a bronze to wrap up the season-opening World Cup event in the Netherlands.

The trio of Kim Min-sun, Kim Hyun-yung and Park Seung-hi teamed up for the third-place finish in the women's team sprint at the first International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Speed Skating of the season in Heerenveen, Netherlands, on Sunday (local time). At 1:28.111, South Korea lost to Norway by 0.001 second, while Russia took the gold in 1:26.62.

The team sprint is contested over three laps, with each team starting with three skaters and one skater dropping out after each lap. That leaves only one skater to finish. It's not yet an Olympic sport.

Also on Sunday, the South Korean men's team finished sixth in the men's team sprint.

The country left Heerenveen with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the World Cup, and the skaters now head to Stavanger, Norway, for the second World Cup starting Friday.

Lee Seung-hoon was responsible for both of the gold medals, winning the men's mass start and team pursuit.

There are six World Cups on calendar this season, and the first four will serve as qualifying events for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, meaning they will decide quota places for each country.

A total of 180 speed skaters -- 100 men and 80 women -- will compete in PyeongChang, and the quota places will be allocated based on the points rankings and time rankings at the World Cup races.

Each nation can earn a maximum three quota places for the men's and women's 500 meters, 1,000 meters and 1,500 meters, the men's 5,000 meters and the women's 3,000 meters. Two quota places per country will be allowed for the men's 10,000 meters, women's 5,000 meters and mass start for the men and women. Countries will only be able to send one team each in the team pursuit.

In this file photo taken Oct. 24, 2017, South Korean speed skater Park Seung-hi speaks to reporters at Taeneung International Rink inside the National Training Center in Seoul. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken Oct. 24, 2017, South Korean speed skater Park Seung-hi speaks to reporters at Taeneung International Rink inside the National Training Center in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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