Krueger's silver ends USA speedskating medal drought

by Leon Thompson February 19, 2018, 8:44
Krueger's silver ends USA speedskating medal drought

Girard becomes the first Canadian man to win the gold medal in the men's 1000 metre short track speed skating event at the Olympic Winter Games.

While his mentor Charles Hamelin was eliminated in the semifinal - DQ'd for a move that actually involved Girard - the youngster made it through to the A final of the 1,000 metres on Saturday night at Gangneung Ice Arena. "When you cross the finish line, it took four years of work and three races to get there".

Samuel Girard of Canada has won Olympic gold in the 1,000-meter short-track speedskating at the Pyeongchang Games. Girard, 21, finished in 1min 24.650sec, ahead of the USA's John-Henry Krueger, who picked up the silver clocking 1:24.864.

Hamelin, who is competing in his fourth and final Olympics, was once again disappointed at his premature finish in the 1,000 semifinal. "It's time for the face of short-track to change". I think it wasn't the thing to do at that moment.

Girard, who won in a time of one minute 24.65 seconds, skated at the front early in the race, a strategy that can have its risks but proved prudent on Saturday as it allowed him to avoid the crash. "It's a bit of passing the torch, it's a bit of that image".

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"I'm really happy he was on the edge of the ice to share that with me", he said of Hamelin.

It's seemed like ages since Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in the Giant Slalom at the PyeongChang Games. So Krueger advanced and later was able to raise the American flag in celebration. "It's too bad because I had the legs to do better".

The carnage was not quite as spectacular as in Salt Lake as Girard still had to fight off a challenge from Krueger to break Asia's domination of the 1,000m. "It was official. I certainly would have liked (to advance) but I can't feel sorry for myself".

It will give Hamelin a final chance to equal the mark of Canadians Marc Gagnon and Francois-Louis Tremblay in short-track speedskating with five medals. In fact, Hamelin could even join Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes as the most decorated Canadian athletes in Olympic history if he reaches the podium in the men's 500-metres and 5,000-metre relay.

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