|Li Jianrou claimed China's first gold medal in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Thursday as she won the women's 500m short track speed skating final which saw the other three skaters crash at the beginning. (Xinhua)
Click here for more photos>>>
SOCHI, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Short track speed skater Li Jianrou claimed China's first gold medal in the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, triumphing in the women's 500m after all the other competitors crashed.
The 27-year-old started from the most outside lane to be left behind soon, before pace-setter Park Seung-Hi of South Korea was caught in a clash between British Elise Christie and Arianna Fontanna of Italy at the first bend.
Li won the title unopposed with a time of 45.263 seconds, far away from the Olympic record of 42.985 held by her injured teammate Wang Meng.
Fontana, the bronze medalist in 2010, took the silver in 51.250 after recovering from a fall, as Park had to settle for the bronze in 54.207.
Christie was handed a penalty for barring fellow competitors on purpose during the race.
The dramatic final took place in the wake of an equally stunning semifinal where China's favorite Fan Kexin, twice world champion, crashed and slowed down Li and another teammate Liu Qiuhong, letting Christie cross line first.
The 20-year-old Fan, ranked second in the world after Wang Meng, caught her left blade and stumbled out in the first lap.
Li Jianrou, the 2012 world champion over 1,500m, was the only Chinese in the four-skater final.
Final results of women's 500m short track speedskating at Sochi 2014
Short track skater Li wins China's 1st gold in Sochi
SOCHI, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Li Jianrou claimed China's first gold medal in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Thursday as she won the women's 500m short track speed skating final which saw the other three skaters crash at the beginning. Full story
Twice world champion Fan falls at women's 500m short track semis
SOCHI, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's job of defending the women's 500m short track speedskating title at the Sochi Winter Games suffered a major blow here on Thursday as twice world champion Fan Kexin lost her semifinals surprisingly to an unforced error.
With all three Chinese short trackers racing the same group of four in the semifinals, the 20-year-old world No. 2 stepped on a ice bug just two laps after start and stumbled out, hardly in the way of teammate Liu Qiuhong before she rushed into the protecting wall aound the rink. Full story