Ital­ian Fon­tana wins 500m, Korean Choi dis­qual­i­fied

Global Times - - Pyeongchang2018 -

Italy’s Ari­anna Fon­tana won a dra­matic Olympic women’s 500 me­ters race on Tues­day af­ter a photo fin­ish with home fa­vorite Choi Min-jeong who was later dis­qual­i­fied.

The 27-year-old Fon­tana, who had won four bronze and one sil­ver medal in pre­vi­ous Olympics but never be­fore topped the podium, fin­ished in 42.569 sec­onds ahead of Yara van Kerkhof of the Nether­lands and Kim Boutin of Canada.

Fon­tana cel­e­brated vic­tory by wrap­ping her­self in an Ital­ian flag and skat­ing around the ice.

“I knew I needed to start first and I knew I had to go fast right away be­cause I knew Choi was go­ing to come,” she told a news con­fer­ence.

“It was easy to feel her com­ing be­cause of the crowd, and at the fin­ish line she came up re­ally fast, but I kept push­ing and I kept my speed. And when I crossed the fin­ish line in front of her, I knew that my dream had come true.”

Fans packed into the Gangne­ung Ice Arena roared and waved South Korean flags as Choi edged close to Fon­tana in the clos­ing stages, their ex­cite­ment stoked by their com­pa­triot set­ting an Olympic record of 42.422 sec­onds in the heats.

But af­ter lengthy de­lib­er­a­tion by the judges Choi was dis­qual­i­fied for in­ter­fer­ence.

Bri­tain’s gold medal hope Elise Christie, world record holder in the 500 me­ters and the win­ner of three world ti­tles, slipped over and fin­ished last in the fi­nal. She was dis­qual­i­fied in all three events at the Sochi Olympics.

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