Grinded me for 3 years… Short Track Park Ji-Won, 11 Golds Already

Lim Hyo-joon, who embroidered the Pyeongchang Olympics, was naturalized as a Chinese citizen, and Hwang Dae-heon, who won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last year, skipped the entire season due to an injury. Park Ji-won (27, Seoul City Hall), who had been overshadowed by them, spread his wings that had been folded up and rose to the top.

Park Ji-won won the men’s 1500m second final at the 2022-2023 International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Cup 5th event held in Dresden, Germany on the 6th with a time of 2 minutes 18 seconds 263. Park Ji-won stayed in second place, took the lead with five laps to go, and stretched her right foot just before crossing the finish line. The gap with Synky Knecht (Netherlands, 2 minutes 18 seconds 274) in second place was only 0.011 seconds. Park Ji-won smiled brightly when 안전놀이터her second gold medal was confirmed, following the previous day’s 1000m, and hugged Knecht, who had a close match.

◇Park Ji-Won, in front of the first Crystal Glove

Park Ji-Won is showing a unique performance this season. He won a total of 11 gold medals in five World Cups, starting with his first triple crown. The final ranking is determined by combining the results of the 6th competition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) to be held on the 10th, and Park Ji-won accumulated a total of 868 points as of the 6th. The gap between 2nd place Hong Gyeong-hwan (634 points, Goyang City Hall) and 3rd place Stephen Dubois (524 points, Canada) was large, and Park Ji-won’s rise to the top was virtually confirmed.

A special trophy will be given to the overall first place this season. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the World Cup, the ISU decided to break away from the previous method of announcing only the first place in each event and award the crystal trophy named ‘Crystal Globe’ to the overall first place in men and women. Park Ji-won, who is likely to be the first winner, said, “We have already prepared a space for the trophy in the room. I really want to pick it up,” he said.

Park Ji-won played an active role as a national team member in the 2015-2016 season, but after that, he failed to show steady skills and was overshadowed by Hwang Dae-heon (24) and Lim Hyo-jun (Lin Xiaojun, 27). Park Ji-won, who dropped out of all the national team selection matches held ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, has yet to have any ties to the Olympics. However, he took the Taegeuk mark again this season for the first time in three years, and filled the void left by Hwang Dae-heon, who was injured due to an injury, by demonstrating improved out-course overtaking skills and the ability to control speed. The ISU evaluated, “Park Ji-won has experienced difficulties such as being included in the national team and then being excluded, but she is showing excellent skills and tactics this season.”

In the women’s 1500m second race, Gilli Kim (Seongnam City Hall) won the gold medal and Shim Suk-hee (Seoul City Hall) took the bronze medal. The Korean women’s national team also added bronze medals in the 500m (Choi Min-jeong) and 3000m relay.

◇Lin Xiaojun wins two gold medals with the Chinese national team

In the men’s 500m, Lin Xiaojun (Lim Hyo-jun), a naturalized Chinese national, won the championship. It is the first international gold medal after naturalization. He won two gold medals in the men’s 5000m relay final, which was followed by a gold medal. Xiaojun Lin said, “I am happy to win the gold medal after a long time.” In 2019, Xiaojun Lin, who played a prank on lowering his junior’s pants, was punished by the Korea Ice Skating Federation for a one-year suspension of qualifications as an athlete, and moved to China when his career as an athlete was not feasible. After a hiatus, he joined the Chinese national team this season, but struggled with injuries and poor physical condition, and finally won the gold medal in the 5th competition.

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