(Olympics) S. Korea still seeking medal after three days in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea remained without a medal after the third day of competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Monday, as short trackers and speed skaters fell short of expectations.

Speed skater Mo Tae-bum finished fourth in the men's 500 meters. He was trying to defend his Olympic gold, but Michel Mulder led the Dutch sweep of the medals in the sprint event.

In the two-race event, Mo finished with 69.69 seconds, 0.38 second behind Mulder. Three other South Koreans, Lee Kyou-hyuk, Kim Jun-ho and Lee Kang-seok, all ended well outside the top 10.

Mo's race was part of a lackluster day for Team Korea on ice. In short track, Lee Han-bin finished in sixth place in the men's 1,500m.

He was the only South Korea to even compete in the finals, after teammates Park Se-young and Sin Da-woon were knocked out of the semifinals.

Viktor Ahn of Russia, born Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea, took the bronze in the 1,500m. He won three gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Turin Winter Games but missed the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver with injuries. He was fast-tracked for Russian citizenship in 2011.

Russia has never won an Olympic short track gold medal. Ahn is considered a strong contender the 500m title in Sochi.

On a brighter note in short track, female skaters kept their medal hopes alive in both the 500m and the 3,000m relays.

Shim Suk-hee, Park Seung-hi and Kim A-lang all qualified for the quarterfinals in the 500m. Shim and Park later joined Cho Ha-ri and Kong Sang-jeong in the 3,000m relay and qualified for the finals.

Shim remained on course for multiple titles at her first Winter Games. The 17-year-old sensation has been close to unbeatable in the 1,000m and the 1,500m this season, and led the country to three relay titles at four World Cup stops.

Elsewhere on Monday, freestyle skier Choi Jae-woo made history in the men's moguls by becoming the first South Korean to reach an Olympic final in his sport.

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