J.R. Celski earned his and Team USA’s first individual men’s medal of the ISU World Cup season Saturday, winning the bronze medal in the men’s 1,500-meter in short track speedskating in Seoul, South Korea.
The three-time Olympic medalist finished in 2:14.535. Canada’s Charles Hamelin won in 2:14.179 while South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang took the silver medal with a time of 2:14.209. Both France’s Thibaut Fauconnet and Korea’s Hyo Jun Lim, the original third-place finisher, took penalties to ensure Celski the bronze medal.
“I gave it my best shot in the A Final,” Celski said. “I probably could have made a couple more moves to try and go for the top spot, but I wound up getting passed a couple times. I was in fifth with a half-lap to go. I tried to get a spot up on Thibaut (Fauconnet) and I believe I got him at the line. The Korean got DQ’d and yeah, that’s short track.”
It was Celski’s second world cup medal of the season after earning gold in Shanghai last week with the men’s 5,000-meter relay team. It also marked his 25th world cup medal – the 16th individual – of his career.
Celski finished second in his semifinal with a time of 2:19.883 to advance to the A Final and finishes the world cup season ninth overall in the men’s 1,500-meter standings. He also finished eighth overall in the men’s 500-meter finals on Saturday.
The event concludes Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,000, the women’s 3,000 relay and the men’s 5,000 relay. The U.S. men’s 5,000 relay team of Celski, Keith Carroll Jr., Thomas Hong and Krueger qualified for their second straight A Final.