Zhou Yang took the first gold medal for the host China in the women's short track speed skating 1500 meters competition at the 24th Winter Universiade in Harbin here on Thursday.
China's Zhou Yang (C), Liu Qiuhong (L) and Sun Linlin smile during the awarding ceremony for the women's 1500m short track speed skating finals at the 24th World Winter Universiade in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Feb. 19, 2009. Zhou took the gold medal of the event. Liu won the silver medal while Sun got the bronze. [Guo Dayue/Xinhui]
China became the biggest winner on the opening day of the short track skating as Zhou and her two compatriots swept all the medals in the 1500m final.
"We trust each other and the gold medal is the result of the teamwork," said the 18-year-old Zhou at the press conference.
"South Koreans are very strong in the 1500m event and I am proud that my girls could break their monopoly today," said the team leader Wang Chunlu.
The women's 1500m final turned to be a contest between China and South Korea, as each of the two powerhouses booked half of the six berths.
South Korean Kim Hye Kyung, gold medalist in the Turin Universiade in 2007, took the lead in the early stage, before the top skater in the world rankings Zhou skated to dominate the group with four laps left.
Zhou's compatriot Liu Qiuhong and Sun Linlin managed to block other South Koreans' way of counterattack and sealed the victory for China with Zhou clocking the fastest time of 2:31.658.