South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon and short tracker Lee Yu-bin, also skating medalists from the recent Beijing Winter Olympics have been announced to withdraw from the domestic winter sports competition starting this week.
The Korea Skating Union (KSU) mentioned that the skaters have pulled out of the National Winter Sports Festival that begins this Friday.
Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon had won the bronze medal in the men’s mass start in Beijing last week. While Lee Yu-bin was a member of the silver medal-winning team in the women’s 3,000m relay in China.
The former had signed up for the men’s 1,500m, 5,000m and mass start at the national event, while the latter had entered the women’s 500m, 1,000m and 3,000m relay.
However, neither skater gave reasons for the withdrawal.
The Olympic men’s 1,500m champion, Hwang Dae-heon have decided not to compete in the men’s 500m, but will likely take part in the men’s 1,000m on Friday.
According to reports, among other Beijing medalists, Choi Min-jeong, who won three short track medals, including gold in the women’s 1,500m, also did not register for the national competition. Kwak Yoon-gy, who secured South Korea to silver in the men’s 5,000m relay in short track, has also been informed to skip the event.
Winter Sports Festival from last year was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. And with a recent surge in new infections the organizers are forced to cancel opening and closing ceremonies for this year’s competition.
The upcoming speed skating races will take place in Seoul, and Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, 85 kilometers northeast of the capital, will host all short track events.