TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A premature celebration in front of the finish line by a South Korean skater led to his Taiwanese competitor crossing the line first and seizing a "miracle" gold medal for the men's 3,000-meter speed skating relay team.
On the last lap of the competition, South Korea's Jung Cheol-won was in the lead, but Taiwan's Huang Yu-lin (黃玉霖) was giving chase. Believing he had put enough distance between himself and Huang, Jung rose up and slowed slightly to lift his arms in victory several meters before reaching the finish line.
While Jung was celebrating, Huang lunged deeply forward with his left leg across the finish line making it a photo finish. After the race ended, the South Korean team took out their national flag and began to skate around the track assuming they had won.
Chao Tsu-cheng (left) competes during his section of race. (CNA photo)
Team Taiwan bowed their heads in disappointment believing they had been bested. However, when the final times were posted on the big screen overhead, the Taiwanese athletes realized that they had actually pulled off a last-second win.
Instant replay of the finish showed that while Jung was easing up, Huang's left skate made it across the finish line with a time of 4:05.692, while Jung actually crossed later at 4:05.702, a margin of 10 milliseconds reported UDN.
Taiwan men's team celebrate gold medal victory. (CNA photo)
Recalling the closing seconds of the race, Huang was cited by the newspaper as stating, "I realized that he was already starting to celebrate and there were only 10 meters left. I had to fight for that last 10 meters so I didn't even think about it. I just lunged for the finish line. He was in front of me, so I didn't know if my wheels had crossed first."
Seeing the South Korean athletes celebrate, Huang initially apologized to his teammates for finishing second. However, when he saw that had won he said, "Winning by 0.01 seconds on the screen felt like it dropped from the sky — truly a miracle."
Taiwan men's team hold up their gold medals. (CNA photo)
The men's team in the finals of the 3,000 m rollerskate relay, consisted of Chao Tsu-cheng (趙祖政), Huang Yu-lin, and Chen Yan-cheng (陳彥成). The win gave Team Taiwan its 11th gold medal of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Video shows highlights of the men's 3,000-meter competition:
Video by a South Korean fan posted on X (formerly Twitter) prematurely declares Jung the victor:
정철원!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/qaafx2OoC7— Solari (@Solari_28) October 2, 2023