Choi Min-jeong won the women’s 1,500-meter race, clinching the first medal for the Korean women’s short-track team at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangwon on Saturday.
Choi clocked 2 minutes and 24.948 seconds. Having finished first in all the heat races, Choi was dominant in the final, leading by 0.755 second behind silver medalist Li Jinyu of China. Kim Boutin of Canada won bronze. Choi’s lead was dominant since the rankings of the skaters in short track come down to one hundredth of a second.
Choi Min-jeong On Working Hard
“I got very emotional when I thought about all the hard work I’ve done in the past four years,” Choi said. “I’ve been dreaming about the Olympics and now that I’ve finally won gold, it’s impossible to explain my emotions in words.”
Despite a successful career, Choi struggled to earn an automatic berth on the national team. She did this by finishing sixth at the World Championship last year, but managed to earn her spot by finishing first in the national team qualifying event.
Choi went from strength to strength this season in four International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup races, ranking first in all three distances. Even in the 500 meters, considered Korea’s weakness, Choi won gold and silver.