Winter Olympics: Belgium win first winter Games gold since 1948

Bart Swings (front) reacts after winning the gold medal in the men's speedskating mass start finals. PHOTO: NYTIMES

BEIJING (AFP) - Belgium won its first Winter Olympics gold medal for 74 years when Bart Swings claimed the men's mass start speed skating title in Beijing on Saturday (Feb 19).

After 16 laps of the track, Swings scored 63 points to beat the South Koreans Chung Jae-won, who scored 40 points, and Lee Seung-hoon, who had 20.

Swings improved on the silver medal he collected in the same event four years ago in Pyeongchang.

"From silver to gold, it's incredible," he said.

"I always want to raise the bar to the next level, and after silver comes gold.

"I knew it was ambitious and a dream to work towards."

Belgium's last Winter Olympic title came at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St Moritz when Micheline Lannoy and Pierre Baugniet took gold in pairs skating.

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