Relay gold eases Vancouver pain for South Korean women

Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:43am EST
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By Alissa de Carbonnel

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - South Korea grabbed gold in the women's short track speed skating 3,000 meters relay at the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday, easing some of the pain from the Vancouver Games when they finished first but were disqualified for illegal contact.

In a tight race decided only on the final curve, South Korea's Shim Suk-hee surged across the finish line, her fist pumping and a huge smile on her face.

She and team mates Kim Alang, Park Seung-hi and Cho Ha-ri jumped up onto the podium holding hands to take a bow.

"We were disqualified at the last Olympics and today we picked up the gold medal we left behind back then," said Park, who was part of the team in 2010.

China inherited the gold in Vancouver when the Koreans were disqualified, but this time around it was the Chinese falling foul of the judges.

Fan Kexin, Li Jianrou, Liu Qiuhong and Zhou Yang were second across the line on Tuesday, only to be disqualified.

"This certainly makes up for it," said Cho, who was also on South Korea's Vancouver team.

A split-second of disbelief was followed by joy for Canada's Marie-Eve Drolet, Jessica Hewitt, Valerie Maltais and Marianne St-Gelais as they watched their third place turn to second on the scoreboard.   Continued...

South Korea's skating team celebrates after winning the women's 3,000 metres short track speed skating relay final event in the Iceberg Skating Palace at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 18, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray