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South Korea's Hwang Dae-Heon wins gold in crowded men's 1500m final

South Korea's Hwang Dae-Heon wins gold in crowded men's 1500m final
Posted at 2:17 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 12:55:17-05

Hwang Dae-Heon of South Korea won the gold medal in the men's 1500m competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Wednesday. The win came in his first event since getting disqualified in the semifinal of the 1000m on Monday. 

The final race was a crowded field as 10 skaters lined up following penalty advancements during the semifinals. 

Hwang made an outside move to take the lead in the fifth lap and never relented.

“I can’t find words for my feeling right now," Hwang said after the victory. "It was the most intense race ever. I am really proud of myself, accomplishing gold in such a race. I am especially proud for being able to add another medal for my country. What a beautiful day.”

Canada's Steven Dubois earned the silver medal and Semion Elistratov of the ROC took the bronze.

SEE MORE: South Korea's Hwang Dae-Heon penalized in men's 1000m semi

Dubois edged the Russian by 0.013 seconds, sticking out his leg at the finish.

"I knew that if I was smart in the race, use my legs and don't make bad choices I could be there," Dubois said. "That's what I did. I did one pass, I guess two, but one big pass. And that's all it took to get a medal."

The Canadian reached the A Final via an advancement following a penalty. 

He and Elistratov held on to the second and third positions for the final seven laps. 

"I knew I had to get into a leading position from the beginning otherwise it would be hard to move up from a position behind," Elistratov said. 

Hwang won his first career gold medal with the win. He earned a silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the men's 500m discipline. 

The 22-year-old is the fourth South Korean skater to win the men's 1500m gold in the last four Winter Olympics.

John-Henry Krueger of Hungary won the B Final.

Quarterfinals

Liu Shaolin won the opening heat, his first race after getting disqualified in the 1000m final. Liu cut in front of Canada's Pascal Dion from the outside and set the Olympic record at 2:09.213. Liu, and his brother Shaoang, reached the A Final.

American Andrew Heo finished sixth in the second race, but he moved up to fifth after a penalty. Heo hovered at the back of the group but could not find opportunities to pass.

Ryan Pivirotto, the other U.S. skater in the discipline, was penalized for a lane change causing contact during the next race. He crossed the finish line fourth in a tight battle.

Neither American advanced to the semifinals. 

SEE MORE: Liu Shaolin Sandor sets Olympic record in men's 1500m

What's next?

Short track action returns on Friday when the women's 1000m medals are on the line.

Americans Kristen Santos, Corrine Stoddard and Maame Biney advanced from heats on Wednesday, as did defending gold medalist Suzanne Schulting from the Netherlands. 

The men's 500m heats and 5000m relay events are also scheduled for Friday.

See the full short track schedule on NBCOlympics.com