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S Korean-speed skating

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean speed skater Mo Tae-bum captured a surprising silver medal in men's 1,000 meters Friday at the world championships in Russia.

Mo finished second in the race at 1:09.24, 0.10 second behind the gold medalist, Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan, at the World Single Distances Championships in Sochi.

Shani Davis of the U.S. was third at 1:09.30.

Mo's silver is the best showing by a South Korean skater in 1,000m at the single distances championships. Jegal Sung-yeol in 1996 and Lee Kyou-hyuk in 2007 had each won a bronze medal in 1,000m.

The podium finish by Mo came as a surprise because he had not finished inside the top three in any of his eight World Cup races this season. His best World Cup result in 1,000m was a fifth-place finish in January.

For the season, Mo ranked 13th in the World Cup standings. Skaters earn 100 points for a World Cup victory and 80 points for finishing second, and so forth. Kjeld Nuis topped the World Cup standings with 587 points, but he was only fourth in Sochi on Friday at 1:09.42.

Mo won the gold medal in 500m at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and added a silver in 1,000m. Since then, he had posted better results in 500m.

Mo will try to defend his 500m world title on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, another South Korean, Lee Sang-hwa, will seek her back-to-back world title in women's 500m. She holds the 500m world record at 36.80 seconds and led the World Cup standings by winning nine of her 10 races.

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