Former Olympic champ Yang Yang urges Chinese short trackers to reflect on penalties

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-19 22:13:55|Editor: ZD
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PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Former Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang on Monday urged the Chinese short track speed skating squad to reflect on its penalties as it has few gold medal chances left here at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, having collected only one sliver medal three days into the competition.

The bulk of China's gold medal chances at the Winter Olympics came in short track speed skating, with nine alone in the women's events. However, the Chinese short-trackers had been held back in PyeongChang due to penalties for impeding, until teenager Li Jinyu grabbed a surprise silver in women's 1500m on Saturday.

"The penalties that China received show that we don't understand the rules well," said Yang, a former short tracker and China's first-ever Winter Olympic gold medalist.

"Many federations, including the International Skating Union (the world governing body for skating), have modified or adjusted the rules and a team must pay attention to the adjustment," she added.

Five Chinese short trackers have been disqualified for barring other contenders, including gold hopeful Fan Kexin, a five-time world champion, in the women's 500m.

Yang, an IOC member and ISU council member, explained that the penalty regimen is part of the sport and the ISU stressed the penalties involved in impeding.

"The Chinese team have to take lessons from the penalties, avoiding similar mistakes and then striving for medals in the following competitions," she said.

China still gold medal hopes, with Sochi silver medallist Wu Dajing competing in the men's 500m. China are also medal favorites for the men's 5, 000m and women's 3, 000m relays.

"Wu has been in good shape and is favorite for men's 500m, " Yang said."But now all pressure is on him and I hope he can handle it."

"The Olympics is the Olympics. It' s about not only capability but also about luck," she said.

China won two golds in short track out of its overall total of three in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.