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(Olympics) Speed skater Lee Sang-hwa returns home for Winter Games

2018/02/05 14:43

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean female speed skater Lee Sang-hwa, a two-time gold medalist in the women's 500-meter race, returned home on Monday to start her preparations to add another gold to her career at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Lee, who captured two gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, also set a new track record at the Frillensee Cup at Eisstadion Inzell in Germany the previous day with a time of 37.18 seconds for the 500m race, proving her potential for the upcoming competition as well.

The skater, who has been in Germany with her coach since last month, is set to join her colleagues currently training in the sub-host city of Gangneung on Tuesday.

Lee will start her schedule in the 2018 Winter Games by participating in the 1000m race on Feb. 14, with the much-awaited 500m competition slated for Feb. 18. Her Japanese archrival, Nao Kodaira, meanwhile, stands as a major hurdle in her ambitions for a third Olympic gold.

While Kodaira has only won one silver for team pursuit in the 2010 Winter Games in terms of the Olympics, she won all seven races in the 2017-2018 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Speed Skating season and left Lee to settle for five silver and one bronze.

Japan expects Kodaira to win at least two golds from her 500m, 1,000m, and 1,500m races.

Two-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa performs at the 99th National Winter Sports Festival at an ice rink in Seoul in this file photo taken Jan. 12, 2018. Two-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa performs at the 99th National Winter Sports Festival at an ice rink in Seoul in this file photo taken Jan. 12, 2018.

colin@yna.co.kr

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