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Hungary Wins Short Track 5000m Relay Gold Medal at 2018 Winter Olympics

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

(L-R) Hungary's Sandor Liu Shaolin and China's Ren Ziwei compete in the men's 500m short track speed skating B final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ARIS MESSINIS/Getty Images

Hungary shocked the masses by winning gold in the men's short-track speedskating 5,000-metre relay on Thursday at the 2018 Winter Olympics, setting a new Olympic record of six minutes, 31.971 seconds.Β 

Sandor Shaolin Liu was the man who crossed the line for Hungary, who lurked for the vast majority of Thursday's final and allowed their opponents to sear ahead before timing a late surge to perfection.

China took the silver medal while Canada claimed bronze behind them, and South Korea tailed off after a mid-race fall ended their chances of placing.

Here's a look at the updated medal table after Thursday's relay result:

Liu had to settle for a place in the men's B final in the 500 metres earlier in the day but made it to the big show for the relay and made it count in a team alongside brother Shaoang.

Sports broadcaster Andi Petrillo confirmed just what a historic moment the win was for their nation:

Andi Petrillo @AndiPetrillo

Hungary captures their first ever gold at the Olympic Winter Games. Take top spot in men's 5000m relay in short track speed skating.

Hungary's patient tactics paid dividends.Β 

Wu Dajing broke the 500-metre short-track world record en route to clinching a gold medal in the event earlier on Thursday but returned for the relay and helped steer China into the conversation for an early lead.

They went back and forth with South Korea for roughly half the race, but a fall from Lim Hyojun with 22 laps remaining allowed China to gallop ahead while Hungary and Canada led the fight for top spot.

Samuel Girard couldn't snatch a podium place in the 500-metre final earlier on but was a major aid in helping Canada steal the lead for a short time with around eight laps to go, though Hungary were fighting hard.

Girard already won gold in the 1,000 metres, while Charles Hamelin, 33, added another accolade to his record in what's likely to be his last Winter Olympics, per Sportsnet's Caroline Cameron:

Caroline Cameron @SNCaroline

Canada wins BRONZE in the 5000m short track relay. A 5th Olympic medal for Charles Hamelin. The second medal of these Games for Sam Girard #PyeongChang2018

With energy tanks more preserved from their tail-gating approach earlier in the race, it was the Hungarians who showed an extra yard of pace and wrestled the lead late on, setting up a fierce fight with China.

Wu and Co. were unable to take back the lead they'd held for such a long period from the beginning of the race, and Liu poked his way over the line in a new Olympic best, all at the age of 22.

He embraced girlfriend, Great Britain's star speedskater Elise Christie, from across the barrier to celebrate a deserved win, one Hungary won't forget in a hurry considering it was their first in Winter Olympics history.

China were made to settle for their second speedskating silver, meanwhile, and Canada their fifth overall speedskating medal at these Games, making them the second most decorated of any nation behind hosts South Korea.

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