Capital gains for China's speedsters

By SUN XIAOCHEN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-12 09:24
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Lin, known as Lim Hyo-jun before he opted to represent China in 2019, drew the loudest cheers in every race he skated in Beijing, where he overcame fatigue amid a hectic four-event schedule to help the host win mixed 2,000m relay silver and men's 5,000m relay bronze.

As a five-time World Cup winner in 500m, Lin's attempt to go for his first sprint title this season was denied by an accidental clash with teammate Liu Shaoang in Saturday's A final, which resulted in Lin being penalized and Liu being knocked off balance to lose the lead to eventual winner Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Canada.

Attempting a passing maneuver in the second lap, Lin came into contact with leader Liu as they approached the corner, an incident which both skaters shrugged off as a "normal occurrence" in the high-octane sport.

"He apologized to me right after we came off the ice and I told him it's OK. In short-track, something like that is completely normal. We are both competitive athletes on the ice and we both want to win. Off the rink we are still good friends. It's totally OK," said Liu, the reigning 500m Olympic champion.

"I've a good relationship with Shaoang. The competition between us on the ice will only push us to improve together," Lin said through a translator on Sunday.

With the high-profile Liu brothers and Lin attracting most of the attention, the return of reigning men's 1,000m Olympic champion Ren Ziwei and experienced women's sprinter Fan Kexin also made headlines over the weekend.

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