South Korea won a leading six medals in the nation's favourite Winter Olympic sport of short-track speedskating, although it was denied gold on a historic, collision-filled final night of competition.

Wu Dajing of China dominated the men's 500 meters while South Koreans Hwang Dae-heon and Lim Hyo-jun stayed on their skates to claim silver and bronze. February 22, 2018
Wu Dajing of China dominated the men's 500 meters while South Koreans Hwang Dae-heon and Lim Hyo-jun stayed on their skates to claim silver and bronze. February 22, 2018 (Reuters)

Teenage star Choi Min-jeong crashed out on a miserable night for South Korea's short track speed skaters on Thursday, as Hungary made history with their first Winter Olympics gold.

The hosts, a superpower in the sport, had high hopes in all three races at a packed Gangneung Ice Arena, but they endured an evening to forget as the Olympic short-track competition wrapped up.

Hungary's breakthrough was accompanied by a victorious moment for China, hosts of the next Winter Games in 2022, when Wu Dajing won China's first gold in Pyeongchang with a world record in the men's 500m.

But while there were celebrations for China and Hungary, Korean fans had little to cheer, starting when Choi's bid for an Olympic treble ended in a wipe-out with fellow South Korean Shim Suk-hee.

Choi, gold-medalist in the women's 1,500m and 3,000m relay, clipped the blades of Shim in the final lap of the 1,000m, sending both skaters hurtling into the side padding.

That left Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands to claim gold, with Canada's Kim Boutin taking silver and Arianna Fontana of Italy the bronze.

Then in the men's 500m, South Korea had to settle for second and third behind China's Wu, the 2014 silver medalist, who set a world record in the quarter-finals and lowered it to 39.584 seconds in the final.

"I definitely felt pressure, I wanted to get a breakthrough for myself and for China," said Wu. "This is a new beginning, and we look forward to Beijing."

'Really, really sorry'

Hwang Dae-heon's silver and Lim Hyo-jun's bronze behind Wu turned out to be the highlights for South Korea, who were knocked out of contention in the men's 5,000m relay after a mid-race fall.

Korea's Lim was inconsolable after the race as he apologised profusely for the mishap.

"Before the Games I thought we had to get relay gold, but then I made a mistake and that led to no medal, and I'm so sorry for my team-mates. I'm just really, really sorry," he said.

Further ahead, there was no stopping Hungary, who held off China and Canada to claim their first Winter Olympics gold, and first medal of any colour since 1980.

Hungary – Csaba Burjan, Victor Knoch, Shaoang Liu and his older brother, Sandor Liu Shaolin – did it in style, setting a new Olympic record of 6min 34.510sec.

Knoch said, "It's been 38 years since our last medal. I think everybody felt this weight on their shoulders; and it was really hard to perform like this at the Olympics."

Choi, 19, was regarded as a poster girl for the Olympic hosts, but in a rollercoaster Games her bid for four golds ended immediately when she was disqualified from the 500m.

Choi won the 1,500m and led South Korea to 3,000m relay success, but she only made Thursday's final through the back door, when a penalty to one of her rivals earned her a pass to the medal race.

Starting on the outside she was always up against it, and after the collision with Shim she ended her race – and her Olympics – unceremoniously on her backside.