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Russia’s leading female short track speed skater Prosvirnova hopes for Ahn’s comeback

February 14, 21:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, Viktor Ahn announced his plans to resume sports career and join the natioanl team before the 2022 Olympics in Beijing

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MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Russia’s short track speed skater Sofia Prosvirnova told TASS on Thursday she hoped that six-time Olympic Champion Viktor Ahn would manage to rejoin with the country’s national team.

South Korea’s daily Kyunghyang Shinmun reported earlier in the day citing world’s famous short track speed skater Viktor Ahn, 33, as saying that he intended to make a comeback with the Russian national team of short track speed skating and vie for medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. In early September 2018, President of the Russian Speed Skating Union (RSSU) Alexei Kravtsov stated that Russian national Viktor Ahn had decided to wrap up with his sports career.

"To be honest, I have not read the interview, but heard the news that he plans to come back to join the national team before the [2022] Olympics in Beijing," Prosvirnova said in an interview with TASS. "I am very happy and hope that everything turns out the right way for him."

"Although we are not keeping contacts often, he [Ahn] always helps us," she said. "He always helps if it is an urgent matter."

Russia’s 2014 Olympic Champion in short track speed skating relay event Semyon Elistratov told TASS on Wednesday that he would be also glad to see Ahn coming back to the national team for upcoming international tournaments.

Viktor Ahn was born in South Korea’s Seoul as Ahn Hyun-soo and initially competed for his native country’s team. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy’s Turin he brought South Korea three golds and one bronze medal in short track.

After the 2006 Olympics in Turin, a string of injuries kept him sidelined from major short track competitions and before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver he failed to qualify for the South Korean national team.

In 2011, he was granted Russian citizenship and announced his decision to speed skate for Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where he clinched three gold medals and one bronze medal.

He is also the six-time Overall World Champion, winning the titles in 2003-2007 and in 2014.

In late 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over doping abuse allegations but allowed clean Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag and in the neutral status of an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).

Viktor Ahn was not among the Russian athletes to receive an invitation from the IOC and missed the 2018 Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang.

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