S Korea's former short track world champion Noh Jin-kyu dies

Korea Skating Union says South Kores's former short track world champion has died of cancer at age of 23

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A photo shows Noh Jin-Kyu of Korea competing in men's 5000m relay final at the 2013 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Championships in Hungary. He died of cancer on Apr 3, 2016.

South Korea's former short track world champion Noh Jin-kyu has died of cancer, the Korea Skating Union said on Monday. He was 23.

Noh's sister, Olympic speed skater Seon-yeong, wrote on her Facebook page that he had passed away at 8pm local time on Sunday.

Noh set world records in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres in 2011 and won the overall title at the International Skating Union's World Short Track Speed Skating Championships that year.

He discovered a benign tumour in his left shoulder in September 2013 but delayed surgery to allow him to compete at the Sochi Winter Olympics early the following year.

However, Noh broke his elbow in practice a month before the Games and examinations showed he had developed osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, with the tumour growing to 13 centimeters.

Noh's condition improved with treatment and he said last year that he would like to compete at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

However, his condition worsened and he passed away on Sunday.

Tributes and condolences poured in on Monday, with Dutch Olympic champion Jorien ter Mors saying on Twitter that the sport had "lost one of the greats".

Italy's Olympic silver medallist Arianna Fontana said on her Facebook page that Noh had taught her "what it means to be a true champion".

TRTWorld, Reuters