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(Olympics) Speed skater grabs historic silver; hockey teams fall

2018/02/19 00:00

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By Special Reporting Team

PYEONGCHANG/GANGNEUNG, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa has been making history throughout her illustrious career. And she added another page to her record book with a silver medal in the women's 500 meters at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Sunday.

Lee fell short of winning her third straight gold but still reached the podium for the third consecutive Olympics with a time of 37.33 seconds, 0.39 second behind Nao Kodaira of Japan.

Lee is the first Asian speed skater to win a medal in the women's 500m at three Olympic Games in a row.

South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa smiles after finishing second in the women's 500 meters of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap) South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-hwa smiles after finishing second in the women's 500 meters of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kodaira, an afterthought at the previous Winter Olympics, set an Olympic record with 36.94 seconds to capture her first gold at age 31. It capped off a historically dominant stretch for the late bloomer, who has been undefeated in the 500m over the past two seasons and has reduced everyone else, including Lee, to second fiddle.

Lee's silver was the second speed skating medal for South Korea at PyeongChang 2018. The host country now has three golds, one silver and two bronze medals through Sunday.

In curling, the South Korean women's team took a step closer to a medal, beating China 12-5 and improving to 4-1 in round robin play at Gangneung Curling Centre.

South Korea is currently third among 10 teams, and the top four will reach the semifinals at the conclusion of the round robin sessions.

South Korean curler Kim Kyeong-ae (C) throws a stone during her team's round robin match against China at Gangneung Curling Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap) South Korean curler Kim Kyeong-ae (C) throws a stone during her team's round robin match against China at Gangneung Curling Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap)

Also on Sunday, the men's and women's hockey teams both suffered hard-fought losses.

The joint Korean team fell to Switzerland 2-0 in the classification match, eight days after losing to the same team by 8-0 while managing just eight shots.

On Sunday, Korea put 19 shots on net, including a few on odd-man rushes created off Swiss turnovers.

The home team will now play Sweden for seventh place in another rematch from the preliminary round. Sweden hammered Korea 8-0 last Monday.

The South Korean men's team lost to Canada 4-0 to close out Group A play with its third consecutive loss. South Korea will compete in the qualification playoffs against Finland on Tuesday, with the winner moving on to the quarterfinals.

At Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang, the two-man bobsleigh team of Won Yun-jong and Seo Young-woo found themselves in ninth place after two of four runs.

They had a combined time of 1 minute, 38.89 seconds and are 0.5 second behind the interim leaders, Nico Walther and Christian Poser of Germany.

The medalists will be determined with two remaining heats on Monday.

The South Korean bobsleigh team of Won Yun-jong (front) and Seo Young-woo get ready for their first heat during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap) The South Korean bobsleigh team of Won Yun-jong (front) and Seo Young-woo get ready for their first heat during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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