Three-time Olympic medalist J.R. Celski and world junior silver medalist Thomas Hong blazed the way as the Team USA men’s 5,000-meter relay team set a world record while winning the gold medal at the ISU World Cup in short track speedskating in Shanghai on Sunday.
Celski and Hong teamed with John-Henry Krueger and Keith Carroll Jr. to lead the way to a new world record time of 6:29:052 and were chased closely by the Republic of Korea, which finished an eyelash behind at 6:29.076.
Canada took the bronze medal in 6:39.805.
“This feels really good,” Carroll said. “We’ve been working hard and this is a long time coming. To put it all together and have something go right, feels awesome. We had no idea we set a world record until Coach Anthony [Barthell] told us.”
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“To get the world record as a whole team makes this victory a little sweeter,” said Krueger, a 15-time world cup medalist, who won the B final in the men’s 1,000-meter.
Team USA broke the previous world record of 6:30.958, which was set by the Canadian team on Oct. 12, 2012, by more than a full second, and shattered the American record of 6:33.363 set Nov. 4, 2016, by Hong, Krueger, Carroll and Adam Callister.
The last of the four world cups takes place Nov. 16-19 in Seoul, Korea. The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Short Track Speedskating take place Dec. 14-17 at the Utah Olympic Oval and will determine the members of the Olympic team.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.