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Snowboarder earns 1st ever World Cup silver medal for South Korea

Alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho has won South Korea’s first ever silver medal at the International Ski Federation World Cup.

Lee earned silver at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Kayseri, Turkey, on Saturday (local time) after finishing second in men’s parallel giant slalom. He lost to Andreas Prommegger of Austria by 0.21 second in the final. 

Lee Sang-ho (Yonhap)
Lee Sang-ho (Yonhap)

This is the best ever result by a South Korean at the FIS World Cup. Previously, Lee had a fourth place finish at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Italy in December 2016, while mogul skier Choi Jae-woo also finished No. 4 at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in 2015.

“I wasn’t in top form, but I’m happy that I’ve achieved what I wanted,” Lee said through the Korea Ski Association. “I will recover and try to win gold at the World Championships.”

At the season’s sixth PGS race, South Korea saw three snowboarders reaching semifinals. With Lee, Choi Bo-gun and Kim Sang-kyum joined the last four.

Choi was knocked out by Lee in the semis by 2.12 seconds, while Kim was edged out by Prommegger by 0.21. For the race for third place, Choi beat Kim by 0.27 and earned bronze.

Lee is currently ranked No. 5 in both PGS and parallel World Cup standings, the highest positions among Asians.

At the previous World Cup in PyeongChang, the South Korean host of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the 21-year-old was eliminated in the qualification round. The snowboarder, however, emerged victorious at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, two weeks ago by winning two gold medals.

The South Korean national snowboard team will next travel to Sierra Nevada, Spain, to compete at the World Championships. (Yonhap)