Chinese super women break South Koreans' monopoly in short track skating

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When four Chinese skaters assumed a theatrical pose of Hollywood movie "Superman" on the top of the podium, they declared a new age has come to the short track speed skating at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

South Koreans' domination on this sport had been shattered here as China took all the four gold medals on offer in the women's events, only leaving the men's reign to their Asian neighbor.

"Four years ago, it was too hard to catch up with South Korean skaters, but we improve a lot during these years. Before we came here, we're very confident," said team leader Yang Zhanwu.

After the fourteen days of competition, China dominated the medal standing with four gold medals, all in the women's events, following by South Korea with two gold, four silver and two bronze. The host Canada made it historical best with two gold, two silver and one bronze.

Four years ago in Torino, South Korea astonished the whole world in the Games when they skated to six gold, three silver and one bronze medals, perching atop the medal standings. It is followed by China with a 1-1-3 record and the United States 1-0-2.

"We made the right decision to invite Li Yan to coach the team four year ago. She brought new concept to the team and made a total change," Yang said.

Li, former coach in the team United States in Torino, was strict with the Chinese team in tactics, skating route and equipment update.

"Our skaters' skill became more and more exquisite, especially in the skating route. And the most excellent equipment coach Paul Marchese helped us to make the flawless skates for the champions," he added.

"Chinese skaters had strong legs in the past with lack of power from upper half of the body. Things are totally different these years, and you can see how well-proportioned their figures are. They have power all over the body, not just from the legs."

Before winning gold in the women's 1000m final on Friday, Torino Olympic champion Wang Meng started China's sweeping as she retained the women's 500 meters at 43.048 seconds to extend China's dominance in this event since the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 when Yang Yang ended the Chinese gold drought at Winter Olympic.

Wang's teammate Zhou Yang made a perfect debut, beating three South Koreans to take the gold in the women's 1,500 meters final, setting an Olympic record of two minutes and 16.993 seconds.

It turned out to be a dramatical victory in the women's 3000m relay when China won its first relay title since 1992 after the four-time Olympic champion South Korea disqualified for impeding.

Compared with the women's team, Chinese men's team finished fourth place in the men's 5000m relay on Friday, finishing their Olympic journey without any medals.

"The boys are getting better and better and they had tried their best tonight," said Li Yan.

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