Winter Olympics: Hungary’s Shaoang Liu Wins Gold in 500m Short Track Speed Skating

Oviri Kelvin

As favourites tipped to win the 500m short track speed skating exit early in Beijing, Hungary’s Shaoang Liu has won the gold medal.

The reigning champions of the contest, Wu Dajing, and Hwang Dae-Heon suffered a shock early exits and failed to make it to the final.

Upgrading from the 1000m bronze won earlier at the games, the Hungarian finished ahead of Russian Olympic Committee’s Konstantin Ivliev and Canada’s Steven Dubois.

While South Korea’s 1500m Olympic champion, Hwang Dae-Heon who won a silver medal four years ago was disqualified on grounds of infringement in a penultimate stage, the reigning champion Wu Dajing failed to make the final line-up which stirred up surprises.

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According to Eurosport, there were surprises in the quarter-finals with Ren Ziwei, who had already won 1000m and 5000m relay gold, being dumped out in the first race. Shaolin Sandor Liu suffered more disappointment by finishing fourth in his race, having been disqualified from the 1000m earlier in the Games when he thought he had won.

They said that Wu cruised through his opening race of the day, but the drama was reserved for the semi-finals. Konstantin Ivliev of the Russian Olympic Committee and Italy’s Pietro Sighel advanced from the first race, but in the second, the competition was to lose its favorites.

Eurosport added that Hwang attempted a risky move on the inside, pushing Steven Dubois of Canada wide, but the 1500m winner was penalised. Wu was the favourite going into the event as the defending champion, and the Chinese crowd were shocked when he could only manage a third-place finish to miss out on the A final, with Shaoang Liu and Abzal Azhgaliyev progressing automatically and Dubois also put through because of the infringement from Hwang.

However, nerves for the final ratcheted up with a false start but Liu surged into the lead from the start, challenged by Iviliev, but the Hungarian was strong enough to hold off the challenge and take his first individual gold, having been in the shadow of brother Shaolin Liu going into the Games.

More so, his sibling led the celebrations on the sidelines, roaring with delight on top of the side canvas.

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