Zhou Yang wins gold, sets Olympic record in ladies short track

Zhou Yang of China dominated the ladies 1500 metre short track final, setting a new Olympic record of 2:16.993 Saturday at Pacific Coliseum.

Yang came into the race as the number one ranked skater and world record holder. She finished the race almost a full second ahead of the silver medalist Lee Eun-Byul of South Korea.

Korean teammate Park Seung-Hi took home the bronze medal.

It was a busy field Saturday as eight skaters took to the track due to advancements given to two skaters who were interfered with in heat two of the semifinals.

Lone Canadian Tania Vicent skated well but was far behind the pace, finishing in last place.

Ariana Fontana of Italy won the four-skater B Final prior to the main event.

With its medals in the 1500, South Korea has increased its total to three in short track thus far in Vancouver.

In the first heat of the semis, Vicent stayed near the front of the pack for most of the race and was able to hold on despite nearly fading at the end. She qualified in a time of two minutes 24.7 seconds.

Havoc hit the track in heat two as a series of spills sent four skaters sliding into the wall.

Amongst the fallen skaters was Canadian Kalyna Roberge, 500 metre gold medalist Wang Meng of China, medal favourite Katherine Reuter of the U.S., and Cho Ha-Ri of Korea.

Roberge was the first skater to go down after she caught her skate on a rubber marker, but this was only the beginning of what turned out to be a crazy finish.

With three laps to go, the three skaters went down simultaneously after Meng bumped Reuter who then tripped up Ha-Ri.

It was determined by officials after the race that Meng initiated the contact and as a result was handed a disqualification.

Reuter and Ha-Ri were allowed to advance as a result, joining heat two winners Erika Huszar of Hungary and Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria.

Heat three also featured an amazing feat as Korean Park Seung-Hi set a new Olympic record with a time of 2:20.859, surpassing the previous record of 2:21.069.

World record holder Zhou Yang of China also qualified for the finals, while Canadian Valerie Maltais finished in last place in heat three.