World Champion Speedskaters Return from Sochi

Speedskaters Lee Sang-hwa and Mo Tae-bum returned to Korea on Tuesday after winning gold medals during the Essent ISU World Single Distances Championships 2013 in Sochi, Russia.

In total, Team Korea earned two gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the event, which concluded Sunday.

Lee Seung-hoon (left), Mo Tae-bum (center) and Lee Sang-hwa wave on arrival at the Incheon International Airport on Tuesday. /Newsis Lee Seung-hoon (left), Mo Tae-bum (center) and Lee Sang-hwa wave on arrival at the Incheon International Airport on Tuesday. /Newsis

Lee and Mo, both Vancouver Olympic gold medalists, defended their titles to become back-to-back world champions in the women's and men's 500-m races, respectively. Mo raced to victory with a combined time of 69.76 seconds from two races, and Lee came in at 75.34 seconds. Mo also won silver in the men's 1,000 m.

Meanwhile, long-distance skater Lee Seung-hoon recovered from a post-Olympic slump that began in Vancouver after winning gold in the 10,000-m event and silver in the 5,000 m.

In Sochi, Lee led Korea to a silver medal in the men's team pursuit with Joo Hyung-joon and Kim Cheol-min. It was the first medal ever won by an Asian country in the event at the world championships. Lee finished fourth in the 10,000 m where the Dutch team had a clean sweep of the podium.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 27, 2013 10:46 KST