Speed skater Kim Min-sun looking to keep pushing herself

SEOUL, South Korean speed skater Kim Min-sun is already well accomplished in her sport's shortest race, the 500 meters. She won the overall title for the 2022-2023 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season and followed that up by finishing in second place for the 2023-2024 season. She then captured her first world championship medal in the 500m last week, winning silver in Calgary, Canada. The 24-year-old now wants to push herself in the 1,000m, too. "I think my time in the 500m has been improving because I've been getting better in the 1,000m, too," Kim told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, after returning home with her world silver medal and second-place World Cup trophy. "I think you have to be able to perform well in different distances to truly become a good skater. I will continue to challenge myself." In the 1,000m at the world championships, Kim finished a career-high eighth. Kim won the 500m silver medal with a time of 37.91 seconds, and Femke Kok of the Nether lands won the gold medal in 36.83 seconds. Kim could have been closer if not for the slight slip-up on the final corner. Kim momentarily lost her balance and touched the track with her left fingertips, potentially costing herself a shot at the gold. "All I could think about was to make as tight a turn as possible," Kim said. "I think I might have rushed myself a bit. It was a good learning experience." Kim failed to win a medal at each of the first two World Cup races this season, while she was struggling to adjust to her new pair of boots. She had taken the long view with the change but then returned to her older boots. Back in the familiar skate, Kim reached the podium in each of the next eight World Cup races, winning three gold, three silver and two bronze medals. "It is never easy to get used to new boots," Kim said. "But it's something skaters have to deal with. I am going to try on different pairs and then pick the one I like the most for the new season." She plans to compete in the ISU World Speed Skating Allround and Sprint Championships next month in her old skates. As for not defending her World Cup overall title this season, Kim said she had braced for the challenge to her throne. "I knew it was obviously going to be difficult to stay No. 1. I tried to shake off pressure and just enjoy my races," Kim said. "I am constantly pushed by so many other, great skaters. I think I'll have to keep working hard because I have long ways to go." Source: Yonhap News Agency