Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Short-track gold for Girard after Korean pile-up

Short-track gold for Girard after Korean pile-up

Krueger and ultimate gold medalist Samuel Girard of Canada were the only competitors left standing in the men's 1,000-meter short-track final after a crash temporarily wiped out the rest of the field.

Hamelin, the victor of three golds and competing in his fourth and final Olympics, got up and was in Girard's corner when he stepped onto the ice for the final. A four-time Winter Games medallist, Hamelin set an Olympic record in 1,000 qualifying. The native of Roberval, Que., has won three silver medals at the Olympics.

This time around, the chat with Campbell and Abejean "helped me be in the right zone", according to Girard, who decided then and there that he had to jump out to a lead in the final and try to hold it while expected chaos played out in the back.

Krueger sank to his knees on the ice, head in hands, still stunned at winning the first US speedskating medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was 12th, finishing with a total score of 255.43. Liu, who won Korea's first gold at the Games with victory in the 1,500m a week ago, got back on the ice to finish fourth. Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., was 10th and Ottawa's Mirela Rahneva was 12th.

Also Saturday, Calgary's Elisabeth Vathje was ninth in women's skeleton.

Canada opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over Switzerland.

Jan Kovar scored the winning goal and Pavel Francouz made 31 saves through overtime and four more in the shootout almost 20 years after the Czechs' memorable shootout win over Canada at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Kreuger started on the inside in a final featuring two South Koreans, a Canadian and a Hungarian skater.

Homan's team rebounded Saturday to pick up its first win of the Games with an 11-3 rout of the United States.

Reigning Olympic champion Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., placed 21st in women's slopestyle and missed the final.

The 23-year-old from Huntsville, Ont., who admitted she tore a knee ligament in November, is already looking ahead to 2022.

Yuki Tsubota of Whistler, B.C., was the top Canadian - and the only one of three to make the final.

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