Kim Gil-li Dominates Women’s 1,500m at ISU World Cup in Seoul

Seoul: Kim Gil-li, a 19-year-old South Korean short track speed skater, achieved a remarkable feat by winning both women's 1,500-meter titles at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating. The event, hosted in Seoul, saw Kim securing her victories at the Mokdong Ice Rink on Sunday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim clinched her second 1,500m title with a time of 2:23.746, a day after her first win. Kristen Santos-Griswold of the United States and Hanne Desmet of Belgium finished second and third, respectively. This marked the first time Kim won two individual titles at a single World Cup stop in her career.

Expressing her joy, Kim highlighted the significance of winning two gold medals for the first time at a World Cup, particularly in Seoul, her home city. Throughout the season, she has been a consistent performer, winning at least one gold in all four World Cup stops this season and leading the overall World Cup standings with 865 points.

In Sunday's final, Kim adopted a strategic approach, initially staying at the rear of the pack and then making her move in the later stages. She overtook competitors, including her fellow Korean Shim Suk-hee, who finished fifth, and moved into the lead with one lap remaining, securing her win. Kim acknowledged that the race conditions, particularly the quality of ice, played a role in her strategy.

The event also saw South Korea's Park Ji-won winning a silver medal in the men's 1,500m final, finishing behind Canada's William Dandjinou. Park remains in a close second in the men's overall World Cup standings.

In another highlight, Seo Yi-ra, who made a comeback after retiring from competitive skating, won silver in the men's 500m. This was his first international medal since the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The race was closely contested, with China's Liu Shaoang taking the gold in a photo finish.

The South Korean team also secured silver in the women's 3,000m relay, with Kim Gil-li contributing to the team's strong performance. The men's team, however, missed the podium in the 5,000m relay after a fall by Kim Gun-woo.

This World Cup event in Seoul was the first in six years, showcasing the prowess of South Korean skaters on their home ice. The next World Cup is scheduled to take place in Dresden, Germany, in February 2024.

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