June 5 - Lee Jung-Su, the South Korean short track speed skater who won gold in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, has announced he will switch to long track skating for Sochi 2014.
The 23-year-old, who also won a silver medal in the 5,000m relay in Vancouver and is a three-time world champion, surprisingly failed to make the national short track team for next year's Games and is changing disciplines to keep his Olympic dreams alive.
"Lee Jung-Su said he would like to take on a new challenge," his coach, Mo Ji-Soo, said.
"Our team is more than willing to offer him full support."
He added that Lee will not enter short track events in the upcoming season and has plans to travels to Canada for training in August.
"We haven't yet timed Lee [on the long track]," Mo said.
"But once his training picks up the pace, I think he should be able to match current national team speed skaters."
The switch from short track to long track is not entirely uncommon and the transition is often smooth owing to the athletes' endurance, balance and cornering skills.
Fellow South Korean Lee Seung-Hoon, who won gold in the men's 10,000m and silver in the 5,000m at Vancouver 2010 after competing in short track for several years, is the perfect example.
Before making the switch, he had won two golds in the 3,000 and 5,000m relay at the 2008 World Championships, as well as gold in the 1,000, 1,500 and 3,000m at the Harbin 2009 and gold in the 5,000m at the Torino 2007 Winter Universiades.
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