Krueger's silver ends United States speedskating medal drought

Doug Mendoza
February 19, 2018

Local favourite Seo Yira took third after he and compatriot Lim Hyo-jun crashed with one lap remaining, with Hungary's Shaolin Sandor Liu penalised.

Girard posted a winning time of 1:24.650 in the A Final.

Girard's victory comes at a point of transition for the short-track program, with Hamelin and his fiancée Marianne St-Gelais both saying Pyeongchang are their last Olympics.

"I bumped into the American and that is it", Knegt said.

"To be in the front of the race is really my place", said Girard. "But... my team was really close to me and said, "Don't do a thing about that, don't care about that".

"Charles played a huge role for him", Campbell said.

"He would have loved to have this medal here, but he's happy that I'm the one who has it", Girard said. "He's one of the best in the world in the sport and he's the ideal mentor for Sam".

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Girard finished just off the podium earlier in the Games in the 1,500.

Both Girard and Krueger were fortunate to reach the A final after both got advanced to the semifinals. "I lost my balance and took the turn too big", Hamelin said. "I tried to protect my spot because I knew it was an easy moment for getting passed on the inside". "The men's field is so deep right now, you look at the quarterfinals, they're super tough, semifinals, I mean, he nearly went out in the semifinals. It's too bad because I had the legs to do better".

As is often the case with short-track speedskating, the men's 1,000 final was a chaotic affair with the three competitors behind Girard and silver medallist John-Henry Krueger of the United States falling to the ice in a tangle.

Four years ago, Krueger was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Olympic trials when he came down with swine flu. "We were ready to do a great race in the semis", said Hamelin. "It was official. I certainly would have liked (to advance) but I can't feel sorry for myself".

Girard will have further opportunities for success in the 500-metre event and the 5,000-metre relay.

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.

Other reports by GizPress

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