Choi Min-jeong Wins 2018 Olympic Short-Track Speedskating 1500m Gold Medal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2018

South Korea's Choi Minjeong gestures before the women'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 February 17, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ARIS MESSINIS/Getty Images

South Korea's Choi Min-jeong produced a stunning performance to win gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics final of the ladies' 1,500-metre short-track speedskating on Saturday.

The 19-year-old logged a scintillating time of 2 minutes, 24.948 seconds after timing her surge to the front to perfection, crossing the finish line unchallenged. Li Jinyu won silver for China, while Kim Boutin came home in third for Canada.

In the semi-finals, there was more heartbreak for Great Britain's Elise Christie, as she crashed out again and was carried from the Gangneung Ice Arena on a stretcher. 

Here are the top three from Sunday's final and a recap of what was an absorbing day of skating from Pyeongchang:         

1. Choi Min-jeong (KOR): 2:24.948

2. Li Jinyu (CHN): 2:25.703

3. Kim Boutin (CAN): 2:25.834   

   

For the 1,500-metre results in full, visit the Pyeongchang website.

        

Choi Clinches Gold; Christie Crashes Again

South Korea's Choi Minjeong (R) competes as Britain's Elise Christie (L) and China's Li Jinyu fall in the women's 1,500m short track speed skating semi-final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung o
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty Images

After a dramatic 500-metre final four days ago, there were some rivalries resumed in the 1,500.

In the early stages, all eyes were on Christie after her fall in the 500, and she sailed through her heat with an excellent display. Choi, Boutin and Arianna Fontana, the winner of the 500, also made it safely through to the semis. 

Christie's measured skate was particularly impressive, as she breezed to the head of the field late on. Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent was impressed with her effort:

In the three semi-finals, there were only two competitors guaranteed to progress to the final, so the competition was fierce in the trio of races.

Boutin was able to make her way through the frantic first semi-final, as did Fontana, keeping her hopes of doubling alive. 

In the last semi, Christie, the world champion, went up against Choi, the pre-race favourite. But once again, the Scotland native found herself flat on the ice, as she tangled with Li and crashed out on the final bend when battling for the second automatic qualifying berth.

While she was penalised for the move, the health of the skater was a more pressing concern, as noted by the Press Association's Mark Staniforth:

As we can see courtesy of BBC Sport, Christie was eventually escorted from the arena on a stretcher:

Meanwhile, Choi, Li and Petra Jaszapati of Hungary made up what was a seven-person final for later in the day.

For the first few laps, nobody appeared to be too willing to take the race on. But with three to go, Choi was able to find an injection of speed, sizzling around the outside and moving clear of the field.

Choi left the field trailing.
Choi left the field trailing.Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The chasing pack couldn't react, giving Choi a huge margin of victory. Meanwhile, despite her crash with Christie in the semis, Li did enough for second.

Boutin, who took third in the 500, repeated the trick and made some history for Canada in the process, per Team Canada PR:

In the 500 final, Choi was penalised for interfering with Boutin and subsequently disqualified from second place. So it would've been a huge relief to win in such comfortable fashion and with no controversy attached. 

Her attention will now turn to the 3,000-metre relay on Thursday, as South Korea go in search of more glory in the short-track events.

Related

    Nobody Expected Bryce to Land Here 😧

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Nobody Expected Bryce to Land Here 😧

    Zachary D. Rymer
    via Bleacher Report

    B/R's UCL Group-Stage Awards 🏆

    Featured logo
    Featured

    B/R's UCL Group-Stage Awards 🏆

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    How QB-Needy Teams Avoid Cousins Whiff

    Featured logo
    Featured

    How QB-Needy Teams Avoid Cousins Whiff

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report

    Top NBA Breakouts So Far

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Top NBA Breakouts So Far

    Adam Fromal
    via Bleacher Report