Cross-country skiers fail to qualify in men’s sprint
Korea’s Shin Eui-hyun, Won Yoo-min and Jeong Jae-seok failed to qualify for the para cross-country skiing men’s sprint sitting competition on Wednesday, dropping out of a competitive field in the qualification race at Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre in Zhangjiakou, China.
The indomitable Shin was back on the snow for his fourth event of the Beijing Games, following reasonable attempts in the cross-country long distance sitting and the biathlon sprint and middle distance sitting events.
He finished just outside of qualifying in the cross-country sprint on Wednesday, finishing 14th with a real and final time of 2 minutes and 28.6 seconds, 14.43 seconds behind first place. With the top 12 racers advancing to the semifinals, Shin missed out on a chance to advance by less than 2 seconds.
That 14th-place finish is Shin’s worst of the Beijing Games so far. He finished 12th in the para biathlon men’s sprint sitting, 11th in the biathlon men’s middle distance sitting and eighth in the para cross-country men’s long distance sitting.
Shin is one of the most decorated Korean Paralympic athletes ever. He is the only Korean ever to win a gold medal at the Winter Paralympics, having won gold in the 7.5-kilometer cross-country skiing sitting race at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, and the only Korean ever to win two medals at a Winter Paralympics, having also won bronze in the 15-kilometer cross-country sitting event. He has also competed for Korea in both para ice hockey and para cycling.
Further down the table, Won and Jeong also missed out on a chance to advance in the men’s sprint.
Won finished in 28th place with a real time of 2 minutes and 55.53 seconds and a final time of 2 minutes and 48.51 seconds. Jeong finished in 33rd place with a real time of 3 minutes and 22.13 seconds and a final time of 2 minutes and 55.85 seconds.
There are three different medal contests in each skiing event: Visually impaired, standing and sitting. Within each event, athletes are classified based on their impairment, and the score takes these classifications into account.
In standing events, there are nine classifications, LW1 to LW9, while in sitting there are three, LW10 to LW12, and in visually impaired events there are three, B1 to B3. The numbers, or classification factors, indicate how much an athlete’s impairment is expected to affect their ability to compete in the sport.
Shin competes in sport class LW-12 for sit-skiers with normal or only slightly decreased trunk function and leg impairments. Won competes in LW11.5 for sit-skiers who have good abilities in their upper trunk, but very limited control in their lower trunk and hips. Jeong competes in LW10.5 for sit-skiers with no or minimal trunk stability. As a result, Won and Jeong’s finish times are adjusted.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]