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Chung Jae-won takes gold at junior world championships

Mar 12,2018
이미지뷰
Chung Jae-won, third from left, races in the men’s mass start race during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangwon on Feb. 24. [YONHAP]
Speed skater Chung Jae-won won gold in the men’s 5,000 meters at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

Chung clocked 6 minutes and 20.75 seconds, 6.16 seconds ahead of silver medalist Allan Dahl Johansson of Norway. This was Chung’s first gold medal in an individual race at the international competition, as he had only previously medaled in team pursuit.

“At the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics, I want to medal in the 5,000 meters,” Chung said.

Despite his recent gold, Chung wasn’t able to compete in the event at the PyeongChang Olympics as he failed to qualify.

Chung started skating in primary school and in 2017 he became the youngest member of the Korean speed skating team. Chung, who was the youngest member of Team Korea to win a medal at the PyeongChang Olympics at age 16, won silver in the men’s team pursuit race with Lee Seung-hoon and Kim Min-seok.

Despite being the youngest Korean medalist at the Winter Games, Chung received more attention from fans after the men’s mass start race for helping Lee take gold. Though it is an individual race, Chung and Lee showed great teamwork. For the majority of the race Chung set the pace for Lee. Then, with less than two laps remaining, Chung slowed down, allowing Lee to speed up for a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

Prior to Saturday, Chung’s brother Chung Jae-woong won gold in the 500 meters on Friday, clocking 34.66 seconds. In addition, Chung Jae-woong added another medal on Saturday, winning bronze in the 1,000-meter race on Saturday.

Kim Min-seok, bronze medalist in the men’s 1,500 meters at PyeongChang, finished fifth in the 1,000-meter race, clocking 1 minute and 9.02 seconds, a new personal best.

In women’s, Park Ji-woo finished 10th in the 1,000 meters with a personal best of 1 minute and 17.77 seconds and 12th in the 3,000 meters by clocking 4 minutes and 18.00 seconds.

BY KANG YOO-RIM, PARK SO-YOUNG [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]