South Korean crowd favourite Lee Seung-hoon stormed to Olympic gold in the men's mass start race at the Gangneung Oval with a perfectly timed breakaway on the final lap.

Lee finished 0.11 seconds ahead of Belgian skater Bart Swings in the final speed skating race of the Games, with Koen Verweij of the Netherlands winning the bronze medal.

Crossing the line, Lee celebrated with his arms raised, basking in the chants of the packed crowd inside the Oval. He took a slow lap of the track, with compatriot Chung Jae-won holding the newly crowned champion's arm aloft.

Lee got his tactics spot on in both the final and in his semi-final, which was also held on Saturday.

In the earlier race, he broke away to win the second intermediate sprint and claim five points, all but ensuring his progression and allowing him to coast through the rest of the race and save his legs.

In the final, he was the unexpected beneficiary of the Dutch tactics.

Dutch skater Sven Kramer opened up with two laps remaining in the 16-lap race, pushing up the speed in the peloton and gaining ground on the early pace-setters.

Kramer, a surprise inclusion in the event due to lack of exposure at the international level, was doing the hard work to give compatriot Verweij a shot at the gold medal but it was Lee who capitalised as Kramer faded.

The 29-year-old, who won gold in the 10,000m at the Vancouver Games in 2010, made his move on the second-last corner and stormed down the back straight before holding off both Swings and Verweij for victory.