South Korean maintained their dominance on the ice as they took two out of three gold medals at stake in the last day of short-track speed skating events at the Turin winter Games on Saturday.
Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States denied a clean sweep by South Korea as he upset favorite Ahn Hyun-soo to win the men's 500meters title.
South Korean teenager Jin Sun-yu grabbed her second gold at the Games when she won the women's 1,000 meters event before Ahn led South Korea to its sixth gold medal in eight short-track speed skating events, winning the 5,000-meter relay in an Olympic record time.
After two false starts in the 500m final, Ohno burst into the lead from the start and led the entire way. He clocked the fastest time of 41.935 seconds, edging Ahn into third place, who was timed 42.009. Francois-Louis Tremblay of Canada won the silver in 42.002.
The 23-year-old Ohno, who won gold in the 1,500m and silver in 1,000m at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, looked ecstatic as he crossed the line, his arms raised in surprise and victory.
"I can't explain, I've been searching my entire career for the perfect race and that was it," said Ohno after winning his first gold at the games.
It was a different story in the women's 1,500m race, which was actually a China vs South Korea affair. The Chinese duo of Wang Meng and Yang Yang (A) led through the early stages of the final, but Jin overtook Wang on the penultimate turn and held on to cross the finish line first in one minute 32.859 seconds.
Wang, winner of the women's 500m event, won the silver in 1:33.079, with Yang, also the defending Olympic champion in the event, taking the bronze in 1:33.937. Jin's compatriot Choi Eun-Kyung was disqualified for pushing.
Wang said she was content with the runner-up finish.
"The two Koreans are very strong. I'm happy with my silver," she said.
In a spectacular race to end the tournament, Canada and South Korea exchanged the lead several times over the 45-lap relay race. The Canadians and South Koreans even briefly stumbled into each other with barely two laps to go.
Ahn snatched the lead from Canada's Mathieu Turcotte over a turn and crossed the line in a time of 6 minutes, 43.376 seconds.
Canada was just .331 seconds behind, with the United States in a distant third place in 6:47.990.
The six gold medals overall was the best ever showing for the South Koreans, two more than their previous best four years ago.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2006)