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South Korea's girls' 3000m relay team get bouquets of flowers after winning the gold medal

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South Korea’s short track gold medal rush halted by Kazakhstan

Date : 12 Feb 2019

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russian Federation, February 12, 2019: A dramatic fall on the last lap of the boys’ 3,000m relay denied South Korea a clean sweep of all eight gold medals in short track speed skating at the 1st Children of Asia Winter Games on Tuesday.

The Koreans had collected all seven gold medals prior to the final short track event at the Kristall Ice Palace and were red-hot favourites to win a full complement of eight gold medals.

But head coach Jang Gwon-ouk’s prophetic words to a Russian television newscaster before the final - that you can never take anything for granted - came true as Kim Ju-sung lost his balance as he attempted to push teammate Lee Eun-jae in the last lap resulting in the Koreans losing momentum.

Kazakhstan, who had led the race on three occasions, grabbed the opportunity to pip the Koreans by four seconds and win an unexpected gold.

The mishap prevented South Korea from winning all eight events. The Korean speed machine had won all the gold and silver medals in every individual event – the boys’ 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m and the girls’ 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m.

On Tuesday, the last day of competition, the Korean girls’ team of Kim Gilli, Park Ha-yoon, Jang Yeon-jae and Kim Lee-hyeon dominated from start to finish to win the girls’ 3,000m relay, making it seven from seven and setting the stage for a perfect eight.

The boys’ team of Park Geonn-yeong, Lee Eun-jae, Hong Joon-hwa and Kim Ju-sung were expected to follow them to top spot on the podium when the unexpected happened.

“This is sport. There is nothing guaranteed. You can’t just expect to turn up and win a gold medal,” Korean head coach Jang said.

“This is a good lesson for these boys. I hope they will remember this in the future, perhaps when they represent the country at the Olympics.”

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