China's history-making speed skater hopes for better results in Beijing 2022

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China's Gao Tingyu celebrates after finishing men's 500m event of speed skating at 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Oval, Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 19, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua/Han Yan]

Gao Tingyu has set his sights on Beijing 2022 after becoming the first Chinese male speed skater to win a medal at the Winter Olympics on Monday.

The 20-year-old gave China a wonderful surprise as he snatched a bronze medal in the men's 500 meter with a time of 34.65 seconds, 0.23 behind the winner, Havard Lorentzen of Norway.

Gao said it was not easy for him to reach the podium.

"Winning a medal is a dream to every athlete. To me, you cannot imagine what I have gone through for the past year, so it's really not easy for me to stand on the podium."

The dark horse says he deleted his social media apps before the competition, because he felt so stressed.

"This morning, I deleted all my social media apps. Many fans keep sending me messages to encourage me. I would like to reply but I felt so stressed. I couldn't even sleep well recently. So I'm happy about my performance today."

When looking forward to the next Games, Gao says he hopes for better results.

"I will try my best to avoid getting injured or sick, and make full use of the four years. I'm looking forward to the better result."

Gao was 10th in the 2017 world single distances championships and his best performance in the 2017-18 season was fifth in the World Cup held in Salt Lake City.

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