SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's first ever speed skating Olympic champion Zhang Hong felt depressed about her bronze at the Winter Asiad and vowed to win back the gold medal at next year's PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
Zhang, 28, clocked one minute and 15.75 seconds to finish third in the women's 1,000-meter final here on Monday, while Japan's Nao Kodairo, who has won all six World Cup events this season in the 500m, claimed the gold in 1:15.19. Minho Takagi of Japan came second in 1:15.31.
"I really wanted to win, and I felt so depressed at the medal ceremony. But for me the most important is the Olympic Games and it's still one year away. I have faith in myself and I will win it back next year," said Zhang, who won China's first ever speed skating Olympic gold at Sochi 2014 in her first Olympic Games with a time of 1:14.02.
"I don't want to make excuse for myself. I was not in good form in the whole season," she said. "I will try my best in the 500m and 1,500m tomorrow. I will adjust myself to the best level, mentally. Physically I am a little tired, but I think it is normal.
"Actually I was 1.5 seconds slower than Kodairo at the World Championships a week ago, but today I was only a half second shy. I can not be always at the peak, so I accept the result today, and I hope I can be better in the future," she said.
Kodaira claimed the women's 1,000m silver medal at the ISU's World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships, adding to her first world gold medal in the 500m. Zhang placed seventh.
According to Feng Qingbo, long time coach of Zhang, the bronze medal at the Asiad was acceptable.
"The whole year has been tired. We will have heavy training as we are preparing for the Winter Olympics next year," Feng said. "Zhang Hong has been out of her best form due to the heavy workload, so her performance today is good for me."