Lee Sang-hwa claims silver in speed skating.
Korean long track speed skater Lee Sang-hwa won the silver medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Sunday.
At the Gangneung Oval, the 28-year-old Korean clocked 37.33 seconds in the women's 500-meter race, 0.39 seconds behind leader Nao Kodaira of Japan who set an Olympic record of 36.94 to win the gold. Karolina Erbanova finished third, clocking 37.34 seconds.
Lee challenged to clinch her third straight Olympic gold in the event, giving up the 1,000m race in a bid to concentrate on her specialty. But her dream to three-peat collapsed in front of her biggest rival Kodaira.
Winning many races in the event over the past two seasons, Kodaira emerged as a strong gold medal candidate for the 500 meters. Though she failed to clinch the gold medal in the 1,000m event, she finally bagged her first Olympic gold.
Kim Hyun-yung and Kim Min-sun finished 12th and 16th after clocking 38.25 and 38.53.
After finishing second, Lee burst into tears. It seemed as if she was overwhelmed by emotions for not winning in front of the home crowd. But soon she was smiling and waving to the spectators who were chanting her name. She also delivered her congratulations to Kodaira.
Lee said she was satisfied with her race and felt good to hear the home crowd cheering for her.
"In the end, it doesn't matter very much about silver or bronze or gold, because I already have two gold medals for the Olympic Games, but it's here in Korea so it was really exciting to hear many Koreans cheering for us," she said.