Tears of Choi as Korean teen triumphs in short track

Sunghee Hwang
South Korea's Choi Min-jeong won her first Olympic title in the women's 1,500m short track

South Korea's world record-holder Choi Min-jeong shed tears of joy as she seized her first Olympic title in the women's 1,500m short track on Saturday, making up for her disqualification in the 500m final.

Choi, 19, eased to the front with two laps to go and glided well clear of the field to win in 2min 24.948sec, more than a second faster than China's Li Jinyu.

Choi threw her arms into the air as she did a lap of honour for the ecstatic 12,000-capacity crowd, and the tears flowed as she hugged her coach.

"I think that kind of (home) pressure is something that an athlete has to put up with," said Choi.

"I prepared well and I was thinking of not being too concerned about the result. I emptied my mind and I think the good result followed."

Kim Boutin of Canada, who received abuse on social media over Choi's disqualification in the 500m, grabbed her second bronze medal of the Games.

"I don't think all of Korea is like that," said Boutin, referring to the internet trolls.

"I really like this country. It (abuse) hurt me of course but I'm not angry about it."

But the agony continued for British world champion Elise Christie, who was stretchered away and taken to hospital after she crashed out painfully in the semi-finals.

Christie was also a crash casualty in the women's 500m final and at Sochi 2014, she went home empty-handed after being penalised in all three of her events.

"It's too early to tell anything, we'll have some scans and find out exactly what the story is," said Mike Hay, Team GB chef de mission.

"It's tough. But right now it's about Elise's health. She was in great form and I saw her a couple of times and she was in a great place, it's just incredibly unfortunate."

A team statement later said an X-ray had revealed there were no broken bones. There was a similar pile-up in the men's 1,000m final, taking out both Korean competitors -- including Lim Hyo-jun, gold-medallist in the 1,500m.

"I am very sad. I think I had a good chance if I didn't fall so that distresses me. I am distressed at myself. But it can't be always good," said Lim.

Seo Yi-ra, who was also felled in the collision, got back up and crossed the line third for bronze. Canada's Sam Girard took gold ahead of the USA's John-Henry Krueger.