China wins 1st gold through speed skater Yang Binyu at Winter YOG

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's speed skater Yang Binyu won the women's mass start race here on Thursday, awarding China its first gold medal at the ongoing Winter Youth Olympic Games.

On the final match day of speed skating on Lake St. Moritz, the 17-year-old clocked her winning time of six minutes and 50.68 seconds, beating Zuzana Kursova from the Czech Republic by 0.22 seconds. Katia Filippi of Italy finished third at 6:51.03.

Yang who placed fourth in 500m on Sunday and third in 1,500m on Monday, said "I made it finally! I couldn't be much happier now. I always believe I have a chance to win. Maybe it came a bit late but it came in the end. Youth Olympics is only a once-for-a-lifetime event for every athlete and I caught up the chance to stand at the top of podium."

As the first to qualify the final in the semifinal 2, Yang appreciated the efforts and contribution from her teammate Wang Jingyi who made the final as the third in the semifinal 1.

"We had strategy to run together and we had three plans to deal with different situations. Wang sped up the tempo at the 5th lap and she wasted too much energy to keep the distance but secured my berth," said Yang.

As the 500m runner-up, Wang was the last to finish in mass start, but felt happy for the victory of her teammate.

Liu Kai, coach of China's speed skating team, told Xinhua he was excited to see the best performance of the Chinese young skaters.

"All the possibilities are within our consideration and our skaters had the great race as we expected. Yang took control of the final lap. She deserves the victory," said Liu. "Wang and Yang missed the chances for golds in the previous races but we had a happy ending today."

In the men's mass start final, Sun Jiazhao finished the fifth clocking 6 minutes and 30.75 seconds. The 17-year-old Sun is the only Chinese skater who did not win any medal at St. Moritz.

China's speed skating team has completed all the races, collecting one gold, one silver and two bronzes. They will stay and keep training for a few days before going back for the National Winter Games in February. Enditem

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