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Chinese Delegation to Winter Youth Olympic Games Won Second Gold Medal

Special sports dispatch from Jorvik, Norway,February 16, Xinhua News Agency - Much drama went on the 16th at theshort track speed skating venue of Lillehammer Winter Youth Olympic Games.Young Chinese athletes Zang Yize and Ma Wei ended their bid for the finals inthe third and fourth place respectively, having been blocked by their rivals,only to go on to win a gold medal for women’s 500-meter and a bronze for men’s500-meter after a total of three Korean athletes were fouled by the referee.

13 gold medals were won in 9 disciplineson Day Five of the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games. Chi Chunxue, thesole Chinese athlete for cross country skiing, secured a place in the quarterfinals with 3’40’’94 in women’s short-distance classic. She went on to improveher score by 7’’75 yet failed to make it to the Top 2 among the six athletes inGroup 4, ending her time at the Games just before semifinals. In the freestylecross country skiing — a new event at the Winter Youth Olympic Games — held onthe 13th, the 18-year-old athlete from Jixi of Heilongjiang Provincesecured three wins to become one of the ten finalists who stood out among 40contenders, ranking in the ninth place.

Li Xiangning, a 15-year-old figureskating athlete made her debut at the Winter Youth Olympic Games on the 16thby securing the 13th place in women’s single’s freestyle skating andwent on to rank in the 12th place among 16 contenders thanks toanother of her 13th place ranking in a short-track event.

As China was eliminated in mixed-gender groupevent for curling and the other traditional individual events at the OlympicGames ended, men’s and women’s 500-meter short-track — the last two eventswithout “the characteristics of Youth Olympic Games” — invariably became thehighlight of the 16th and also events that could best demonstratethe level of competition in short-track events. 90% of the seats at the caveskating center were occupied on the day.

In the women’s 500-meter finals thattook place first, Hungarian athlete Jászapáti wassent off track in the third lap by the Korean athlete who claimed gold in the1000-meter two days ago and by the time she returned to the track, she laggedbehind the other three contenders by a large margin; the 16-year-old Chineseathlete Zang Yize was affected by her Korean rival Yi So-Yeon and visiblylagged behind the two Korean athletes on hitting the line.

However, the referee panel soon ruledthe two Korean athletes to have fouled and confirmed their decision by playingback the video, thus overruling the appeal by Korea. As the only athlete with avalid score in Group A finals, Zang Yize was propelled to the top spot of theaward podium. Jászapáti, who finished the match but didn’t get her timerecorded, was awarded a silver medal. Bulgarian athlete who claimed top spot inGroup B finals got a bronze for her performance.

Previously, Zang Yize and her team mateGong Li, having both been assigned to Group A in the semifinals of women’s500-meter, covered for each other to suppress Korean athlete Yi So-Yeon,hitting the line first. However, Gong Li failed to make it to the group finalsfor fouling.

At the last turn in the men’s 500-meterfinals before the contenders hitting the line, a Korean athlete with 1000-metergold under his belt took temporary lead and yet was soon ruled to have fouledfor dragging the ankle of Ma Wei the moment he lost balance, propelling anotherKorean athlete to the first place. Ma Wei, being the fourth person to hit theline, got a bronze medal in the end.

“Short track events are very dramatic,but the key is your skills, which is what Chinese athletes have relied on whenwinning the gold medal. You have to have what it takes to get into finals towin gold,” said Xu Xun, a Chinese referee who was assigned by InternationalSkating Union to referee at this year’s Winter Youth Olympic Games, after theevent.

Only four events were scheduled for the17th, and Chinese athletes will compete in two of the events — biathlonand speed skating, which take the characteristic mixed team format of the YouthOlympic Games. Young athletes will fight alongside one another, transcendingthe distinction of nationality and location.


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