Three-time world champion Ahn Hyun-soo won the men's 1,500 metre title in the Winter Olympic short track skating on Sunday after American rival Apolo Anton Ohno slid out of the semi-finals and into a lowly ninth place.

Ahn, 20, has stormed his way up the rankings since the Salt Lake City Games and dominated men's short track so Sunday's gold was a fitting first Olympic medal.

It was also revenge for South Korea, which lost the 1,500 gold in 2002 when Kim Dong-sung finished first but was then disqualified for blocking Ohno.

At that time some South Koreans bombarded Ohno with hate mail, called for a boycott of U.S. goods, and frequently made reference to the controversial call at other sporting events.

Ahn's compatriot and triple world junior champion Lee Ho-suk took the silver and China's Li JiaJun, competing in his fourth Olympics, won bronze.