S. Korean Lee enjoys lucky gold in men's 10,000m speed skating

10:04, February 24, 2010      

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South Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon became the luckiest man when he won the men's 10,000 meters speed skating after Sven Kramer of Netherlands was disqualified for a crossover mistake at the Vancouvler Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Lee Seung-Hoon, a surprised winner in the 5000m 10 days ago at the Richmond Olympic Oval, renewed the Olympic record in a time of 12 minutes 58.55, slicing 0.37 seconds of the previous mark set by Jochem Uytdehaage of Netherlands on Feb. 22, 2002.

Lee's victory came only after the three-time world champion and record holder Kramer clocked 12:54.50, but later was disqualified for incorrect changing of lanes with 8 laps remaining of the event.

Lee became the first ever Asian champion in the long distance at the Winter Olympic Games and probably the luckiest champion in Vancouver.

Lee said: "Today I did my very best and that's the best record I could do today. I'm lucky to get this medal. On the other hand, had Kramer not been disqualified, he would have had it. I know I am lucky. I will work harder to become a better skater and I'm extremely happy."

"My coaches told me at first that Kramer had made a mistake and I saw it on the replay they were showing on the big screen. I want to compete with Kramer again," Lee added.

As a short track skater before last July when he failed to qualify for the Olympics and turned to long track, Lee admitted his long-time short track training helped him a lot.

"For short track and long track, the fundamental body positions and training are the same. The training I received in short track helped me and it was easy to adjust."

"I will continue to train in short track, if there's an opportunity then I will compete. As for the Olympics, I will stick to long track," Lee said.

Lee's victory was the third titles won by the South Korean speed skaters in Vancouver as Mo Tae-Bum, and Lee Sang-Hwa had claimed both men's and women's 500m.

"Both of them are in the same university with me. it will be a very happy trip back to Korea. We go to the same school and all got medals," said the lucky Lee.

Source: Xinhua
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