China's Man Dandan poses with the gold medal during the awarding ceremony for women's 1.4km individual sprint classical cross country skiing at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, Feb. 20, 2017. Man Dandan claimed the title of the event with 3 munites 48.29 seconds to gain the first gold medal for China in this winter games. (Xinhua/Liao Yujie)
Cross-country skier Man Dandan won the women's 1.4 km individual sprint classical here on Monday, pocketing China's first gold at the eighth Asian Winter Games.
"I was in good form today," said the 28-year-old girl after wining the title in the final round with 3 minutes and 48.29 seconds.
"I didn't think much, but just focused on the games. As a veteran, I want to set a good example for my younger teammates by doing my best regardless of the results," she said.
Mikko Olavi Virtanen, head coach of the Chinese cross-country skiing team, said after the game that he is happy with Man Dandan's performance.
"She is a super talented sprint skier... Her biggest problem before was to maintain the speed for four rounds of the competition. We have been working on that for the past seven months. I have been giving her advice such as how to save the energy till the final round," he said, adding that Man is a good learner.
China's Man Dandan celebrates after winning women's 1.4km individual sprint classical cross country skiing at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, Feb. 20, 2017. Man Dandan claimed the title of the event with 3 munites 48.29 seconds to gain the first gold medal for China in this winter games. (Xinhua/Liao Yujie)
He also said that the Chinese cross-country skiing team has a huge potential. "We have a quite young team. We still have five more years to Beijing Winter Olympics. I hope we can continue this good work for a long term," he said.
Yelena Kolomina from Kazakhstan took the sliver and Ju Hye Ri from South Korea got the bronze. Australia's Casey Wright finished the third in the final round but did not get a medal as a guest athlete.
In the men's event, Kim Magnus of South Korea won the gold and Sun Qinghai of China took the silver, while the bronze went to Nobuhito Kashiwabara from Japan.