Lim strikes first gold for Olympic hosts South Korea

Monitoring Desk

GANGNEUNG: Short-track speed skater Lim Hyo-jun claimed a first gold medal for South Korea on Saturday as the hosts made a triumphant start to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Lim got Korea off the mark on the first full day of action in the men’s 1500m in front of an ecstatic, near-capacity 12,000 crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena. In a frenetic final the 21-year-old saw off Dutch world record-holder Sjinkie Knegt with Semen Elistratov, one of the Russians competing as an independent, in third.

With South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in watching, together with American Vice-President Mike Pence, Lim delivered the goods to further embellish Korea’s dazzling record in the sport with their 22nd short track title. Korea had two shots at the target but Hwang Dae-heon crashed out of the final, causing a collective groan from the home supporters.