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

Seoul: South Korean teenage sensation Kim Gil-li clinched her sweep of the women's 1,500-meter titles at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating, held on her home turf in Seoul. Her victory in the second of the two 1,500m finals at Mokdong Ice Rink on Sunday followed her triumph in the first final a day earlier.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim clocked a time of 2:23.746, outpacing Kristen Santos-Griswold of the United States, who finished second with a time of 2:23.968, and Hanne Desmet of Belgium, who came in third with a time of 2:24.283. This marked the first time the 19-year-old Kim won two individual titles at a single World Cup stop.

Kim expressed her elation at winning two gold medals for the first time at a World Cup, especially in Seoul. She has consistently shown strong performances throughout the season, winning at least one gold in all four World Cup stops, leading the overall World Cup standings with 865 points, 60 ahead of Santos-Griswold.

In Sunday's final, Kim initially stayed behind, allowing others to lead, notably her compatriot Shim Suk-hee and Hanne Desmet, who took an early lead. Kim made her decisive move in the latter part of the race, overtaking two American competitors, Santos-Griswold and Corinne Stoddard, to secure her win.

Kim also shared her strategic approach, considering the ice conditions and the physical demands of leading the race early on. Despite the challenges, she remained focused on performing her best.

In the men's 1,500m final held the same day, South Korea's Park Ji-won secured a silver medal, following William Dandjinou of Canada. This comes after Park's gold medal win over Dandjinou in the first 1,500m final on Saturday. Dandjinou and Park led early in the race, with several lead changes ensuing. Park now stands second in the men's overall World Cup standings with 681 points, closely trailing Steven Dubois.

Park, an avid football fan, likened the World Cup series to a football match, expressing optimism about his chances in the remaining events of the season.

The World Cup awards points based on individual race finishes, contributing to the overall standings and the chance to win the Crystal Globe trophy at the season's end. Park was the inaugural winner of this trophy for men in the previous season.

In other events, Seo Yi-ra clinched silver in the men's 500m, marking his first international individual medal since the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Liu Shaoang of China won the gold in a tightly contested photo finish.

The South Korean women's team, comprising Kim Gil-li, Shim Suk-hee, Lee So-yeon, and Seo Whi-min, earned silver in the women's 3,000m relay, with The Netherlands taking gold. The South Korean men's team finished fourth in the 5,000m relay after a fall by Kim Gun-woo.

This event marked the return of the ISU World Cup Short Track to South Korea after six years. The next World Cup is scheduled to take place in Dresden, Germany, in February 2024.

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