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Sun shines at Winter Games

XINHUA | Updated: 2024-02-21 09:04
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HULUNBUIR, Inner Mongolia — Chinese short-track speed skater Sun Long clinched another two gold medals at the 14th National Winter Games on Sunday, after finishing first in the men's 1,000m and the men's 5,000m relay.

Sun also claimed the men's 1,500m title on Friday by using the "rabbit tactic", and beat Olympic champion Ren Ziwei, Lin Xiaojun and Liu Shaoang to 500m gold.

"I strive to stay calm, keep focused, and achieve the best on the rink," said the 23-year-old, who is representing Team Jilin.

The "rabbit tactic" involves a racer taking a swift early lead before seamlessly blending back in with the pack to gain a one-lap advantage over their opponents, sometimes undetected. The unconventional tactic is becoming more commonplace, and Sun believes that the National Winter Games presented an ideal opportunity to experiment with the strategy.

"The men's 1,500m medalists at the World Cup in Dresden last week finished in slightly over two minutes and 11 seconds. I am eager to see if I can reach that level as a competitive skater on the international stage," Sun said.

The men's 5,000m relay at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was a painful memory for Sun, who fell during the final, resulting in the team's fifth-place finish. He issued an apology on social media after the competition to his teammates, coaches, fans, family and friends.

"I reflected on my performance and continued to improve myself after the Winter Olympics," he said.

Sun has been getting stronger both mentally and physically over the last two years.

Besides the four golds, Sun also helped Jilin to a silver in the 2,000m mixed team relay at the National Winter Games.

"I have proved myself at the National Games, which is a new start for me. In the next stage, I will concentrate on international events and work together with my teammates to top the podium," he said. "It is a common goal of our athletes to hear China's national anthem played in the venue."

As for his aspirations for the 2026 Winter Olympics, he added: "I will make concrete efforts to prepare for the Winter Olympics, and complete my training plan step by step."


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