South Korean skeleton slider Yun Sung-bin said Sunday he doesn't feel pressure to win a gold medal at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.
Yun, currently ranked world No. 1 in men's skeleton, returned home after winning the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Friday. It was Yun's last international competition before he enters the PyeongChang Olympics next month.
Yun decided not to race at the season's last World Cup in Konigssee, Germany, to get more practice on the Olympic track in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul.
|South Korean skeleton slider Yun Sung-bin speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport in Incheon on Jan. 14, 2018. (Yonhap)|
"I think I've successfully finished my tests for the Olympics," he said to reporters at Incheon International Airport. "Now, I have the most important race left."
Yun has become South Korea's best hope for its first Olympic medal off the ice. This season, he has bagged five golds and two silvers in seven IBSF World Cups, while his rival Martins Dukurs of Latvia collected two golds, two silvers and one bronze medal.
The 23-year-old South Korean said he doesn't feel pressure to win an Olympic gold medal although he knows he will get lots of attentions from home fans.
"I don't think I need to feel pressure," he said. "I think people's attention as support. An Olympic medal is my dream."
Yun finished second overall behind Dukurs in each of the past two seasons, but with the Olympics around the corner, he has taken a giant leap. He currently tops the IBSF rankings with 1,545 points, 115 points above Dukurs.
Yun, however, said what really matters is the Olympics.
"I think it's too early to judge that I've surpassed Dukurs," he said. "You have to see the Olympics result."
When asked about reasons behind his impressive performance, Yun said: "I honestly don't know which area I've improved. I just work hard like every season, but I think my competitors had some lacking performance."
Kim Sua firstname.lastname@example.org
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