Updated: Saturday, 22 February 2014 03:32 | By Agence France-Presse

Russia's Ahn tears up short track record books

Record-breaking Russian short track speed skater Victor Ahn won two more Olympic golds on Friday to take his tally to six -- the highest in the sport's history.


Russia's Ahn tears up short track record books

Russia's Victor An celebrates his team victory after the Men's Short Track 5000m Relay Final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 21, 2014 - by Yuri Kadobnov

South Korean-born Ahn won his first medal of the night in the 500m, overcoming a slow start to skate to victory, buoyed by a partisan home crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Minutes later he was part of a four-man team that edged the United States to take gold in the 5,000m relay in an Olympic record time.

Ahn, 28, was stuck at the back of the 500m field for a long period but he kept his calm, taking advantage of a fall by China's Liang Wenhao with two laps left to move into second.

He passed China's Wu Dajing at the start of the final lap to cross the line first in 41.312sec. Wu took silver in 41.516 while Canada's Charle Cournoyer won bronze.

In the relay, Russia won gold in 6min 42.100sec, with the United States a close second and China some way adrift in the bronze medal position.

Ahn becomes the first athlete to win gold in all four short track events in Olympic Winter Games history: men's 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m relay.

The Russian, who won 1,000m gold earlier in the Games, has now won a record six gold medals in short track. His eight medals in total matches the record of US skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

Only Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie, also of Norway, have more golds (eight).

Beset by injury problems and falling out with South Korean skating officials, Ahn Hyun-Soo won fast-tracked Russian citizenship in 2011, took the name Victor Ahn and immediately became Russia's number one short track athlete.

Also in speed skating action on Friday, South Korea's Park Seung-Hi won the women's 1,000m to add to her 3,000m relay gold earlier in the Games.

Park edged out China's Fan Kexin, who took silver while Shim Suk-Hee won bronze.

Park now has five Olympic medals, including bronze in the women's 500m in Sochi, tying for second most among short track women.

When asked if the two Koreans had employed team tactics, Park said: "No, we didn't have any special plan since every situation is different. We just try to use teamwork and do well together. 

"Fortunately, we were able to do really well. We have been practising the whole season together and it paid off."

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