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Winter Asiad Day 2: Champagne on Ice for China
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Olympic champions endured a bittersweet day in the short track speed skating event of the Asian Winter Games in Changchun on Tuesday.

Turin Olympic triple winner Ahn Hyun Soo of South Korea was disqualified -- after finishing first in the men's 500m. Ahn was ruled to have committed a foul while overtaking Li Ye of China from theinside lane.

But Turin Olympic 500m titlist Wang Meng tasted the sweetness of victory as China made a podium sweep in the women's 500m.

Wang, bronze medalist in Monday's 1,500m race, refreshed her own Asian record created in the semi-final to win in 43.869 seconds, before Fu Tianyu took silver in 44.060. Zhu Mile came third in 44.159.

Wang, 500m winner in Turin Olympic Games last year, had previously slammed the national team, saying she would return to her provincial team since there was no cooperation between Chinese skaters after losing out to Jung Eun Ju of South Korea for the 1,500m title on Monday.

"I felt I was in a safe-box today since Fu and Zhu were behind me. I owe my victory to them," said the 21-year-old Wang.

Ahn, 21, brought South Korea three gold medals in Turin last year in the 1,000m, 1,500m and 5,000m relay but had a bad day here.

His result was annulled and Asian champion Hu Ze from China was promoted to first place in 42.042 seconds.

Song Kyung Taek kept silver for South Korea in 42.167 while Asiad 1,500m bronze medalist Li Ye picked up another bronze in 56.119 despite falling.

Both Hu and Song surpassed the previous Asian record of 42.537 set by Japanese Satoru Terao.

In speed-skating, China's Wang Beixing was crowned in the women's 500m x2 event while Lee Kang-Seok of South Korea won the men's title.

Wang finished the first round with an Asian mark of 38.02 seconds, 1.18 off the previous one set by her compatriot Wang Manli, and won by a two-race total of 76.10 seconds.

"I am surprised," said Kevin Crockett, Wang's coach from Canada. "I knew she could win, but I didn't expect her to dominate."

The 21-year-old Wang, seventh in the Turin Olympics where Russian Svetlana Zhurova won in 76.57, was among the first group of speed-skaters from China to train in Calgary, Canada in 2003.

South Korea's Lee Sang-Hwa, 17, the five-time World Cup winner this season and champion in the Turin Winter Universiade, was beaten to the second in 76.95 seconds, followed by Zhang Shuang of China in 77.59 seconds.

China's other two golds of the day came from Kong Yingchao in Biathlon Women's 10km Pursuit and Wang Chunli's Cross-Country Skiing Women's Sprint Free title.

Wang Meng

Kong Yingchao

Hu Ze

Wang Beixing

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2007)

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