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John-Henry Krueger wins silver in 1000-meter short-track speedskating

John-Henry Krueger wins silver in 1000-meter short-track speedskating

Girard posted a winning time of 1:24.650 in the A Final. Just behind him, John-Henry Krueger spread his arms in a can-you-believe-it gesture.

Canada's Samuel Girard steered clear of some late lap mayhem to steal the Olympic short-track speedskating 1,000 meters gold medal on Saturday. So Krueger advanced and later was able to raise the American flag in celebration.

"He did it a little bit better than I did", said Krueger.

John-Henry Krueger of the USA, took silver while Seo Yira of South Korea collected bronze. Seo got up and kept going, but he was too far behind to catch the leaders. Canada's Samuel Girard beat Krueger by 0.214 seconds to win the gold.

"Just before the race he came to me and said "let's go, you can do this", smiled Girard.

"To be in the front of the race is really my place", said Girard. "We train together, all the team was behind me on this medal". He was advanced to the semifinals after Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands was penalized for impeding.

"I'm really happy he was on the edge of the ice to share that with me", he said of Hamelin. "He made the referees look at the video replay".

"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. "I lost my balance and took the turn too big", Hamelin said.

Four years ago, Krueger was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Olympic trials when he came down with swine flu. "My plan was to put the other skaters in trouble and try to leave me alone".

"He would have loved to have this medal here, but he's happy that I'm the one who has it", Girard said.

One major obstacle to the gold medal was removed when the International Olympic Committee banned Sochi 1,000m champion Ahn from competing in Pyeongchang following an investigation into widespread state sponsored doping.

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.

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.

Kreuger started on the inside in a final featuring two South Koreans, a Canadian and a Hungarian skater. Li also went sliding into the padding, but got up. The 33-year-old was thinking the same thing, and thought both he and Girard would be in position to advance until some contact with Seo left the Canadians staring up at the board, waiting for the referees to determine their fates.

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