MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Six-time Olympic Champion in short track speed skating Viktor Ahn will start competing in tournaments in late September to qualify for the Russian national team, Alexey Kravtsov, the president of the Russian Skating Union (RSU), told TASS on Monday.
World’s famous short track speed skater Viktor Ahn, 33, announced in February 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, RSU President Kravtsov stated that Russian national Viktor Ahn had decided to wrap up his sports career.
"The first qualifying tournaments for the place on the Russian national team’s roster will start two weeks after the RSU Open International Cup," Kravtsov said in an interview with TASS. "Viktor Ahn will also take part in the RSU Cup."
Kravtsov announced to TASS earlier in the day that the RSU Open International Cup in Short Track would be held in Russia between September 13 and 15.
"We will see in September in what shape he [Ahn] really is," Kravtsov added.
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.