S. Korean short trackers Kim Gil-li, Park Ji-won crowned World Cup champions

SEOUL, South Korean short track speed skaters Kim Gil-li and Park Ji-won have captured the women's and men's overall titles for the 2023-2024 World Cup season. Kim, 19, led all female skaters with 1,211 points from six competitions during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup season, which wrapped up at the Hala Olivia Arena in Gdansk, Poland, on Sunday (local time). Kim held off Kristen Santos-Griswold of the United States, who finished with 1,180 points. Park, 27, grabbed the men's overall title after earning 1,071 points, 19 ahead of Steven Dubois of Canada. Kim and Park each received the ISU Crystal Globe for their feats. Park was the inaugural men's winner last season, and this is Kim's first Crystal Globe. During the World Cup campaign, skaters earned points based on their finishes in individual races: 100 points for a win, 80 points for a second-place finish and 70 points for a third-place finish, and so forth. Kim, who was fourth in the overall standings last season, led the race for t he Crystal Globe wire to wire this season. Kim had won at least one gold medal at each of the first five World Cup events, but the streak ended at the season finale in Poland, where the teenager grabbed a silver in the 1,000 meters on Sunday. Santos-Griswold made the chase for the Crystal Globe more interesting with her gold medals in the 1,000m and 1,500m, but still fell 31 points back of the South Korean. Kim led the women's competition with seven gold medals. Kim began Sunday with a 51-point lead over Santos-Griswold. The two rivals were drawn in the same quarterfinal heat in the 1,000m, where the South Korean teenager finished second to the American and still cruised into the semifinals. Kim's eventual progress to the 1,000m final meant Santos-Griswold couldn't catch the South Korean teen even with her gold medal in that event. "I can't describe how I feel. I am so happy," Kim told the ISU's official website. "My goal was to be No. 1. I was just not sure it would happen." She said her next goal is t o "win a gold in the world championships. Or maybe more than one." On the men's side, Park and Dubois each won a gold medal in Poland -- Park in the 1,000m and Dubois in the second of two 500m finals. Dubois also won silver in the first 500m final, but Park had opened up enough of a lead over the Canadian to hold on for his second straight Crystal Globe. Park entered Sunday holding a 69-point cushion on Dubois, but with Dubois having won his 500m title, Park needed his own gold medal in the 1,000m to seal the deal. Park went out and did just that, as he edged out compatriot Kim Gun-woo for his sixth World Cup gold of the season. "I knew I had to be first to get in front and stay there," Park said. "I wasn't too nervous. I just focused on gold. I always had confidence in myself. I am more happy this time to keep it than I was to win it last season." Source: Yonhap News Agency