Veteran South Korean skater Lee Seung-hoon became the inaugural Olympic champion in men's mass start speed skating, at the PyeongChang Winter Games on Saturday.
He made a last-minute spurt to cross the finish line first in the men's mass start final held in the Gangneung Oval. Belgium's Bart Swings won silver and the Netherlands' Koen Verweij won bronze.
Lee, the world No. 1 in the discipline, earned the first gold medal at the mass start, which made its Olympic debut at PyeongChang. It is Lee's second medal at PyeongChang, following the team pursuit silver, and his fifth Olympic medal.
Lee's signature last minute spurt worked well in the 16-lap race.
He raced with his teenage teammate Chung Jae-won, who skated in the lead group of the 16-man pack as a pacemaker. While Chung led the skaters throughout the race, Lee remained at the tail and bided his time for the spurt.
In the 13th lap, skaters started to speed up and Lee advanced to the top five. In the final lap, his speed outmatched other skaters to take the lead.
He crossed the finish line first and clenched his fists to celebrate his victory. And he patted Chung, who finished eighth, as a token of his gratitude for setting the perfect pace and helping Lee win the title. (Yonhap)