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Ex-Russian short tracker Victor An misses out on coaching position in native S. Korea

SEONGNAM, South Korea-- Victor An, South Korean-born former short track speed skater with a Russian passport, has failed in his bid to return to his native land as a club coach.

Seongnam City Hall officials said Sunday that An did not make the cut after interviewing for the coaching position with the short track team for the Gyeonggi Province city earlier this month.

An, born Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea, won three gold medals for his native country at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Before the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Ahn became a Russian citizen and won three gold medals for his adopted country as Victor An.

He served on the Chinese team's coaching staff at last year's Beijing Winter Games.

Kim Sun-tae, who coached South Korea at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and then China four years later in Beijing, also interviewed for the Seongnam job, but he, too, did not make it to the next stage.

An, in particular, faced severe backlash for attempting to find work in South Korea after renouncing his citizenship a few years ago. That An had only recently coached China, one of South Korea's biggest rivals in short track, hasn't sat well with the public here.

"When we reviewed candidates' resumes and went over their interviews, we looked into many different elements, including their communication skills," a Seongnam city official said. "We also considered the prevailing sentiment in the speed skating community and media coverage of the situation."

Seongnam said An and Kim were among seven candidates to interview for the position. The city is scheduled to announce its new coach Tuesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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