Lim Hyojun Wins 2018 Olympic Short-Track 1500m Gold Medal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2018

Hyojun Lim, of South Korea celebrates after winning the men's 1500 meters short-track speedskating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Lim Hyojun clinched Winter Olympics gold on Saturday for host nation South Korea in the men's 1,500-metre short-track speedskating with an event record time of two minutes, 10.485 seconds. 

In what is always one of the most absorbing events at any Games, it was Lim who eventually came through at the end of 13-and-a-half laps of action. The Netherlands' Sjinkie Knegt was close behind in second spot, while OAR skater Semen Elistratov grabbed bronze.

Here are the results from the final at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

             

1. Lim Hyojun (KOR): 2:10.485

2. Sjinkie Knegt (NED): 2:10.555

3. Semen Elistratov (OAR): 2:10.687

For the skating results in full, visit the competition's official website.

Lim Outlasts Knegt in Dramatic Finish

As noted by Sean Ingle of the Guardian, throughout the competition the Korean skaters were receiving some brilliant support:

After the heats earlier in the day, the battle for a place in the final started got under way.

From them, it was Elistratov who emerged the quickest, posting a time of 2:11.003 to see him ahead of Canada's Charles Hamelin.

There was also plenty of interest for the home supporters in the final, as Lim and Hwang Daeheon both qualified in third and fourth position, respectively. Still, in a nine-man battle for the gold medal, a winner could've feasibly come from any of the competitors.

In the final, after a relatively pedestrian start, the Korean pair made a big move to the front of the field, igniting the crowd temporarily. Then world-record-holder Knegt muscled his way into the lead and the pace increased further.

South Korea's Lim Hyojun (L), Netherlands' Sjinkie Knegt (C) and Russia's Semen Elistratov take part in the men's 1,500m short track speed skating A final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on F
MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

The hopes of the home fans were diminished at this point, as Daeheon was eliminated from contention after a tangle with Thibaut Fauconnet; the latter took a skate to the face after the former fell.

But the fans were quickly on their feet again, as Lim made his way past Knegt and into an excellent position. The Dutchman was unable to manoeuvre a way around the leader and appeared to concede defeat before Lim had even crossed the line.

As relayed by the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga, it was a momentous result not only for the host nation, but for Elistratov as well:

Per Ingle, the OAR athlete would've been thankful to see Daeheon and Facounnet take each other out in the final stages:

For Lim, to produce such a remarkable performance at the age of 21 in front of an expectant home crowd is testament to his incredible temperament.

The natives will get a chance to see the champion in action again in the 5,000-metre relay, and provided Daeheon shakes off the disappointment he suffered here, the South Korean team will feel as though they have an excellent chance of gold in that event. 

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