Team USA closed the short track speedskating world cup season with a bronze medal in the men’s 5,000-meter relay on Sunday in Seoul, South Korea.
Keith Carroll Jr., J.R. Celski, Thomas Hong and John-Henry Krueger finished in 6:47.894 for their second consecutive medal in the event following their world-record-setting performance in Shanghai last week. They were half a second behind the winning team from South Korea. The Netherlands took silver.
It’s the first time the U.S. men have medaled in back-to-back world cup events since the 2013-14 season, when they also medaled in Shanghai and Seoul. Later that season, Team USA went on to win silver at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 for the only Olympic medal from U.S. speedskaters at those Games.
The U.S. was in second for most of Sunday’s race, then briefly dropped to fourth, but pulled ahead of Russia on the 41st lap and held their position for the rest of the race.
“These two rinks are good for our relays. It’s really nice to come away with a medal in Korea,” said Celski, who won an individual bronze medal in the 1,500-meter on Saturday. “This is the biggest stage as far as competitions go on the world cup circuit. The venue was super loud today and it was nice to race in that environment and prepare us for what’s to come.”
The U.S. team will now return home to begin preparing for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Short Track Speedskating, which will be held at the Utah Olympic Oval from Dec. 15-17. Quota spots for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are expected to be announced by the ISU this week.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.