Pyeongchang 2018

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Five golden home hopes at PyeongChang 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10:  Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea competes in the ladies 500m during the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships - Gangneung - Test Event For Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Oval on February 10, 2017 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Nothing gets an Olympic Games crowd going as much as a home victory. Here are five of the Republic of Korea’s best hopes of success at PyeongChang 2018.

Lee Sang-hwa

The speed skater is already a sporting legend in South Korea after winning gold in the women’s 500m at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. Now Lee (above), who was a torchbearer for 2018, is bidding for a hat-trick of titles. She would become only the second woman in history to win three golds in the 500m, after Bonnie Blair of USA, but standing in her way is Japan’s Nao Kodaira, who has been dominant in the World Cup series so far this season.


Lee Seung-hoon

Lee claimed a surprise gold in the men’s 10,000m at Vancouver 2010, as well as silver in the 5,000m and followed that up with silver in the team pursuit in Sochi four years later. He has now switched speed skating disciplines to the mass start where his medal prospects also look strong having finished the 2016/17 World Cup season ranked number one in the world.


Choi Min-jeong

The great new hope of South Korean speed skating. Choi, 19, has been in scintillating form in the 500m and 1500m so far this season and is a two-time overall world champion. This will be her Olympic debut though, so nerves could play a part. She said: “The most important thing we can do is prepare the best we can and not leave the Olympics with any regrets.”


Lee Sang-ho

Speed skating has always been South Korea’s strongest winter sport, but Lee offers hope of a medal elsewhere.  The snowboarder created a sensation when he won gold in the men’s giant slalom at the Asian Winter Games in February, becoming the first from his nation to triumph at the event.


Won Yun-jong and Set Young-woo

South Korea had never fielded a competitive bobsleigh team before the duo emerged in the 2014/15 season. They went on to win the overall World Cup last year. This season has been less impressive, partly because they have taken time to adjust to a new sled built by Hyundai, but the pair remain strong contenders for a podium placing at PyeongChang 2018.


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