China's Zhou Yang retains her women's 1,500m title in Sochi

Chinese skater times it just right to retain her women's 1,500m Olympic crown

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 February, 2014, 12:43am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 February, 2014, 1:29am

Chinese short track speed skater Zhou Yang successfully defended her 1,500 metres Olympic title when she won the gold medal in yesterday's final at the Winter Games.

Shim Suk-hee of South Korea won the silver medal and Italy's Arianna Fontana took the bronze after a hotly contested race at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Dutch skater Jorien ter Mors finished fourth while China's Li Jianrou, South Korea's Kim Alang and American Emily Scott all fell midway through the race, effectively ending their chances of making the podium.

The 22-year-old Zhou timed her race to perfection, taking the lead approaching the final lap and sprinting clear to collect her third Olympic gold medal after she won two in Vancouver four years ago.

Viktor Ahn won the gold medal in the men's 1,000 metres short track speed skating, leading a Russian one-two in one of the sport's premier events.

Competing for his adopted country Russia, Ahn reclaimed the title he last won for South Korea in Turin eight years ago, leading almost all the way in the five-man final.

Vladimir Grigorev, also of Russia, won the silver medal while the bronze went to Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands.

Ahn, one of the greatest short track speed skaters of all time, won three Olympic golds for South Korea at Turin but switched allegiances after missing out on the team for Vancouver and falling out with officials.

Earlier in the day, Austria's Anna Fenninger swept to gold in an incident-packed, attritional super-G. Only 12 of the leading 30 women managed to finish the 2.2km-long Rosa Khutor course.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse