Dajing Wu introduced himself to the skating world four years ago at the Sochi games, where he took silver in the 500-meter short-track just behind all-time great Viktor Ahn.
In PyeongChang, he’s done more than just reintroduce himself. He’s put his name in the record books. Wu skated a then-Olympic record 40.264 seconds in qualifying heats on Tuesday, February 20, only for fellow countryman Ziwei Ren to break that record two days later in the quarterfinals Thursday with a 40.032 in the first of four quarterfinal heats.
Undeterred, Wu came right back in the second quarterfinal heat and skated a 39.800, not only retaking the Olympic record from Ren but also taking the world record from American star J.R. Celski, who skated a 39.937 back in 2012 at a World Cup final in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Less than an hour after setting the world record, Wu won his semifinal heat, qualifying for the finals, which also take place Thursday night in PyeongChang (Thursday morning in the United States). Ren, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the “A” Final after finishing third in the other semifinal heat.
In the final, Wu false-started on the initial gun but rebounded nicely on the restart. He used his inside position to jump to the front of the pack and was never really challenged by any of the other three skaters. He broke his own world record with a scintillating 39.584 seconds as he finished his final lap with his hands held high in victory. Daeheon Hwang and Hyojun Lim, both of host nation South Korea, took silver and bronze, respectively.
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• North Korean cheerleader breaks protocol, cheers USA
• The Olympics’ worst skier might be the most inspiring
• Ivanka to represent U.S. at Olympic Closing Ceremony
• Canadian women suffer historic curling loss
• A bittersweet ending for Lindsey Vonn