ST. MORITZ, Switzerland, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's speed skater Yang Binyu won the third place in women's 1500-meter race here on Monday on Lake St. Moritz at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Starting on the inner track with the gold winner Myrthe de Boer from the Netherlands in the last pair, Yang was regarded one of the strongest competitors for the title. Ranking at the seventh at the Youth World Cup tournament last year, Yang claimed the bronze medal clocking 2 minutes and 10.93 seconds, 0.49 seconds behind the Dutch skater.
Japanese sprinter Takahashi Yuka, pairing with the 500-meter gold medalist Isabel Grevelt from the Netherlands, did not start well on the first 300 meters but managed to race to the silver medal with a time of 2 minutes and 10.58 seconds.
It was very windy on the ice lake on Monday and the athletes have to face the outdoor challenge. The 17-year-old Yang was one of them who find it difficult to race with wind. She finished the race with some 5 seconds slower than her indoor result.
"I couldn't push myself quicker in the beginning so I kept chasing in the following rounds," said Yang, "It might be a bit lucky to start on the out track today due to the wind direction. But anyway, this is outdoor competition and everyone has to take it."
The coach of Chinese speed skating Liu Kai believed Yang had raced her best and had a chance to win.
"0.49 seconds is not the huge gap in 1500-meter race," said Liu, "her skating pose did not help her in the wind and she had to become stronger to overwhelm the difficulties to approaching the top podium."
According to Liu, Yang will take some rest on Tuesday and prepare to fight for the podium in the mass start race on Thursday.
In the men's 1500-meter race, Sun Jiazhao of China clocked 1 minute and 58.10 seconds to finish 9th. The 17-year-old was unhappy with the result and a bit disappointed about his slow progress during the recent training.
"I'm feeling a bit tired and I could see how far I fell behind from those top skaters," said Sun, "the wind made me 3-4 seconds slower but this should not be an excuse for my unsatisfying performance."
The team sprint and mass start races will take place on Wednesday and Thursday on the natural ice rink on Lake St. Moritz.