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America stun South Korea in Short Track World Cup relay

America stun South Korea in Short Track World Cup relay
By Sportsbeat

12/11/2017 at 13:36Updated 12/11/2017 at 14:25

J R Celski admitted the American team were as surprised as anyone at their ability to hold on for their first World Cup Short Track Speed Skating relay gold medal for four years.

South Korea looked set to take the glory but a photo finish saw the United States team pip them to the gold medal in an absorbing men's 5000m relay race in Shanghai.

Canada were awarded bronze despite crashing with China with 28 laps to go, taken down when in good rhythm which led to China's penalisation.

But despite the disaster that occurred behind them, the American team of Celski, Thomas Hong, John-Henry Krueger and Keith Carroll didn't look back – keeping pace and subsequently pipping their counterparts to the line in a photo finish.

Charles Hamelin of Canada, Dae Heon Hwang of South Korea, John-Henry Krueger of the US and Se Yeong Park of South Korea compete during the men's 1000m final B event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.

Charles Hamelin of Canada, Dae Heon Hwang of South Korea, John-Henry Krueger of the US and Se Yeong Park of South Korea compete during the men's 1000m final B event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.Getty Images

"At one point we were just trying to stay on pace because it was so fast,” said Celski of the first relay gold since 2013.

"I looked up to the board and I was like, how long can we hold on to this?

"We're just happy with everything coming together. It's amazing.

"We work really hard as a team and to see the team have hope and go out there and attack the relay like we can win, it builds confidence.”

Team US (blue), team South Korea (white) and team Canada pose ahead of the men's 5000m relay final A event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.

Team US (blue), team South Korea (white) and team Canada pose ahead of the men's 5000m relay final A event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.Getty Images

This was also South Korea's first medal in the race this season, but the women's 3000m relay team were not to be denied gold earlier in the day.

The squad of Choi Min Jeong, Shim Suk Hee, Kim Ye Jin and Han Yu Bin pipped China to the line despite their final-corner lunge, while Italy swooped in for bronze after Canada were penalised.

"Every round has been challenging, not just the final,” said China's Fan Kexin.

"We've prepared for various scenarios during training. Anyone in this team can step up to the challenge because we are very united."

The US team celebrates winning the men's 5000m relay final A event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.

The US team celebrates winning the men's 5000m relay final A event at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai on November 12, 2017.Getty Images

But while they were not to deliver gold for the Shanghai crowd, Wu Dajing certainly did with a scintillating display in the men's 500m final.

Taking his country's second individual World Cup medal of the season, the double Olympic champion cast aside any talk of rivalry to take the win ahead of two South Koreans on the podium, Seo Yi Ra and Kim Do Kyoum.

And a disastrous fall with just half a lap to go for Italy's Martina Valcepina denied her a shot of gold, leaving Canada's Kim Boutin to swoop in for her first short track World Cup gold medal and fourth of any colour.

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