Olympic medals roundup

American John-Henry Krueger stuns with silver in speedskating

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: John-Henry Krueger of the United States celebrates after winning the silver medal during the Short Track Speed Skating Men's 1000m Final A on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
John-Henry Krueger of the US went to his knees in celebration of his silver medal.

Samuel Girard yelled and signaled No. 1 with both index fingers as he crossed the finish line first. Just behind him, John-Henry Krueger spread his arms in a can-you-believe-it gesture.

The Canadian and the American claimed gold and silver in the men’s 1,000-meter short track Saturday at Gangneung, upsetting the powerful South Koreans.

Girard and Krueger raced to celebrate with their coaches on the sideline. Krueger sank to his knees on the ice, head in hands, still stunned at winning the first US speedskating medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.


‘‘There were so many thoughts rushing through my head,’’ Krueger said.

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World champion Seo Yira of the host nation earned bronze.

Seo and teammate Lim Hyo-jun, who earlier won the 1,500, were taken out in the turn approaching the last lap by Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary. Seo got up and kept going, but he was too far behind to catch the leaders. Girard and Krueger sprinted to the finish, with the Canadian keeping his lead.

‘‘There is just too much traffic and stuff that can go down if you stay in the back, so we both stayed up in the front and it paid off for both of us,’’ Krueger said.

Both Girard and Krueger were fortunate to reach the A final after both got advanced to the semifinals.


Girard moved on at the expense of countryman Charles Hamelin, who was penalized for impeding.

‘‘Just before the race he said to me, ‘Let’s go, you can do this.’ He gave me a tap on the back,’’ Girard said. ‘‘We train together, all the team was behind me on this medal.’’

Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands was penalized for the same reason. He finished second in his quarterfinal and Krueger was fourth, but the American moved on when the referees reviewed video.

‘‘I bumped into the American and that is it,’’ Knegt said. ‘‘He came to the inside, had his hands in the air. He made the referees look at the video replay.’’

In the first short-track event of the games, Krueger was penalized in the semifinals of the 1,500. Kneght won silver.


‘‘Earlier in the 1,500 there was a call I disagreed with, and short track is about taking the good calls and the bad calls,’’ Krueger said. ‘‘In the 1,500 I took the bad call and in the 1,000 I took the good call.’’

Four years ago, Krueger was forced to withdraw from the US Olympic trials when he came down with swine flu.

In the women’s 1,500 final, Choi Min-jeong won the host nation’s second short-track gold in front of President Moon Jae-in.

‘‘It was the biggest dream of mine for four years. I can’t put it into words. I am so proud of it,’’ Choi said. ‘‘Physically I am so burned out, but inside I am so happy, so proud of my whole country.’’

Li Jinyu of China took silver and Kim Boutin of Canada earned bronze to go with her same colored medal in the 500.

The night was filled with crashes and penalties in front of a full house at Gangneung Ice Arena, with Korean fans cheering and waving flags in support.

One of the wipeouts took down medal contender Marianne St-Gelais of Canada in the 1,500 semifinals. She tripped and fell, barely avoiding a referee as she slid across the ice and into the path of the other skaters before coming to a stop near the end padding of the rink.

In the women’s semifinals, world champion Elise Christie of Britain crashed hard into the protective padding on the last turn and was carried off on a stretcher. Mike Hays, chef de mission for Britain, said Christie was on her way to the hospital for tests. She was moving and fully conscious, covering her face with her hands as she left the ice.

Christie was chasing South Korean leader Choi together with Li when Christie and the Chinese skater tangled. Li also went sliding into the padding, but got up.

Christie was later penalized and would not have advanced to the A final.

Americans Maame Biney, Lana Gehring and Jessica Kooreman were eliminated in the heats of the 1,500.

Cross-country relay — Marit Bjoergen crossed the finish line, thrust her ski poles in the air and was promptly mobbed by teammates.

She’d done it.

No Winter Olympian in history can say they have more medals than the 37-year-old Norwegian cross-country skier.

Bjoergen helped the Norwegian women win the 4 x 5-kilometer cross-country relay at PyeongChang to take home her 13th career medal, tying her with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen for the most Winter Games medals ever.

She can take over sole possession with a medal in either the final two women’s events — the team sprint relay or the 50-kilometer mass start. The 44-year-old Bjoerndalen participated in six Olympics but did not make this year’s team.

‘‘She is an absolute legend,’’ American rival Jessica Diggins said. ‘‘It’s really, really cool to see her race every single time. She just skis with absolute control.’’

Sweden finished a close second in Saturday’s race while a team of Russians were third.

Women’s skeleton — Lizzy Yarnold picked the perfect time to end a three-year winless streak, and extended Britain’s dominance in the process.

Yarnold won her second consecutive Olympic women’s skeleton gold medal, leaving no doubt by setting a track record in the fourth and final heat to beat Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling by nearly a half-second.

Yarnold’s time was 3 minutes, 27.28 seconds. Loelling finished in 3:27.73, and Britain’s Laura Deas was third in 3:27.90.

The US struggled, with four-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender finishing 13th and Kendall Wesenberg — who had trouble figuring out Curve 2 and lost tons of time in that process — ending her first Olympics in 17th.

Wesenberg was weeping afterward, disappointed by her showing. When she talked about her cheering party, with her family and about 10 friends going wild in the stands, she cheered up immediately.

‘‘I have great support back home and it’s so cool to have them here,’’ Wesenberg said. ‘‘They don’t even know Curve 2’s a thing. They probably think I'm taking home a medal. That side of it is definitely the good part of this, the good takeaway.’’

Ski jumping — After missing the podium a week ago, defending Olympic champion Kamil Stoch came up big on the large hill.

The 30-year-old Polish ski jumper had leaps of 135 and 136.5 meters for 285.7 points to win the gold medal on the large hill.

Normal hill gold medalist Andreas Wellinger of Germany took the silver at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center and Robert Johansson of Norway won the bronze.

Stoch, who won both the normal and large hill golds in Sochi, had to settle for fourth behind Wellinger, Johann Andre Forfang and Johansson on the normal hill.

Biathlon — After two silver medals, Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina finally found gold.

Kuzmina hit 19 of 20 targets and won the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start by 18.8 seconds over silver medalist Darya Domracheva from Belarus. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff won the bronze medal.

Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier was the favorite in the event and a two-time Olympic champion already, but she struggled with two misses and finished in 16th place.

The hardest part of her night for Kuzmina seemed to be trying to unravel the Slovakian flag in her arms as she was skiing toward the finish line.

Kuzmina has now accounted for all three of Slovakia’s medals in the Pyeongchang Games.

Freestyle skiing — Sarah Hoefflin led a Swiss gold and silver effort in the women’s slopestyle event. She scored a 91.20 on her last run to take the gold from her countrywoman, Mathilde Gremaud. Maggie Voisin of the United States was fourth.