Zhou Yang wins women's short track 1,500m final

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World number one Zhou Yang overcame three South Korean rivals to win the women's short track speed skating 1,500 meters final at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games here Saturday evening.

The 18-year-old made perfect debut as she set an Olympic record of a winning time of two minutes and 16.993 seconds among other seven skaters.

Zhou Yang of China won the women's 1500 meters short track speed skating gold medal at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games on Saturday.
Zhou Yang of China won the women's 1,500 meters short track speed skating gold medal at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games on Saturday.

While China has never won the women's 1,500 meters in the Olympics before, Zhou's performance gave China its third gold medal in Vancouver.

Zhou, silver medalist in the world championships in 2009, sped up to surpass arch rivals Lee Eun-byul of South Korea and Lee's compatriot Park Seung-hi with three laps left and never let them skate near her until she crossed the finishing line.

"I tried to take the lead from the beginning because there are three South Korean in the final. I don't know how I could have the power to surpass them with three laps left," Zhou told the press.

"My mind is empty at that time. All I thought was skating to the finishing line as soon as possible," she added.

Lee, ranked number two in the world in this season, took the silver in 2:17.849 and Park Seung-hi finished third in 2:17.927.

"The result was not like what we had planned, but we still have chance to win the gold medal in the next two events," said Park.

The Chinese team stumbled on the winning road on Saturday as Olympic champion Wang dropped out for elbowing American Katherine Reutter in the semifinals.

"My heart sank when I saw Wang disqualified. So I have to tell myself again and again that I should be confident," Zhou said.

"Winning 1,500m is my dream, but I still have one more dream, winning the relay competition."

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