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Speedskater Kim Bo-reum has gone from being the target of an online petition calling for her to be expelled from the Pyeongchang Olympics to earning a spot on the medals podium.

PyeongChang 2018Home favourite and current world number one Lee Seung-hoon lived up to his billing, claiming gold as the men's mass start took its Olympic bow on 24 February at the Gangneung Oval.

While her team-mates were being interviewed after the race, Noh walked out of the arena and declined to answer questions. She stopped at one end of Gangneung Oval, laid the flag on the ice, bowed to the crowd, dropped to her knees and placed her head on her hands. She did both. The American ski great said Thursday she recently scattered some of the ashes of her grandfather Don Kildow, who served during the Korean War, on a rock near the mountain where the downhill races were run. "I think everybody felt this weight on their shoulders and it was really hard to perform like this at the Olympics".

Kim Bo-Reum and Park Ji-woo crossed the line nearly four seconds ahead of the third Korean skater, Noh Seon-Yeong, in the quarter-finals on Monday (Tuesday NZ time) as they finished seventh in the quarter-finals.

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During the race, Noh fell far behind teammates, and failed to narrow the gap until reaching the finish line. In team pursuit, the finishing time for the team is set by the third of the three skaters crossing the line.

Almost 600,000 signatures were on an online petition to South Korea's presidential office calling for skaters Kim and Park to be expelled from the Games.

After Monday's 500-metre pursuit, Kim told reporters that her team was skating well, but she added with a smirk that "the last skater couldn't keep pace, which meant we had a disappointing outcome".

Korean speed skaters race in the women's team pursuit speed skating in Gangnueng, Gangwon Province on Wednesday.

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Park said she was shocked when crossing the finish and spotting Noh was not with them.

The final match will take place on February 25, beginning at 2:05 Kyiv time, and a duel for "bronze" the fight will take place the day before at 13:05 local time.

"I apologize to those who have been affected by what I said during the TV interview yesterday".

The Garlic Girls as the hosts' team are known will face Sweden who beat Britain comfortably 10-5 with an end to spare in the other semi-finals.The 2002 Olympic champions Britain were trailing 8-5 by the eighth end and the Scandinavian two-time gold medallists from Vancouver 2010 and Turin 2006 won the game in the ninth. "We've played all of these teams before multiple times, so it's trying to basically put it all into perspective", said coach Peter Gallant.

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