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China''s Han Tianyu talks to the media about his silver medal.
Han skates to silver and China’s first medal of Sochi 2014


10 Feb 2014
Sochi, Russia: The first day of short track speed skating at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Monday ended with a silver medal for China – their first medal of the Sochi Winter Olympics on the third day of medal competition. It came from 17-year-old Han Tianyu, who finished second in the men’s 1500 metres behind Canada’s Charles Hamelin.

Victor An, who represented Korea in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics but is now skating for Russia, took the bronze in his third Olympics for two different countries.

Hamelin clocked 2 minutes 14.985 seconds, ahead of Han with 2:15.055 and An in 2:15.062.  China’s Chen Dequan was fifth and Korea’s Lee Han-Bin, ranked No. 1 in the world going into the race, in sixth place in the seven-man final.

Han, from Liaoning province in north-east China, said he did not expect to win a place on the podium. “This is my first Olympic Winter Games and I was a little bit nervous,” he admitted.
“I never thought I could make it to the final, let alone stand on the podium. I raced every round like my final and tried my best to compete.”

It needed two races to reach the final, with three skaters qualifying from each of the six, six-man preliminary heats and then two each from the three semi-finals.

China can expect more short track medals, especially in the women’s events, despite the absence through injury of Wang Meng, whose six medals in two Winter Olympics include four gold.
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