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Maame Biney Finishes Third At Junior Worlds As First Team USA Woman To Earn Overall Medal In 21 Years

By Gary R. Blockus | March 04, 2018, 4:54 p.m. (ET)

Maame Biney competes in the 500-meter quarterfinal at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 13, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.


Maame Biney, the 18-year-old short track speedskating sensation, wrapped up her junior career with two more medals to conclude the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships on Sunday in Tomaszow Mazowieckei, Poland.

Biney, fresh off competing at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, won the overall bronze medal as well as a bronze medal in the 1,000-meter on Sunday to go along with her historic gold medal in the 500 on Saturday.

Biney ended her career at junior worlds tying a U.S.-best four medals: three this season and one last season. That equals the U.S. record of four world junior medals set by three-time Olympian J.R. Celski.

South Korea’s Ji Yoo Kim won the 1,000-meter gold in 1:34.251, followed by Canada’s Courtney Lee Sarault in 1:34.301. Biney took the bronze medal in 1:34.592. Team USA’s Gabriella Hachem was fifth in 1:35.954.

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Biney made history on Saturday by becoming the first U.S. woman to win a world junior championship, earning gold in the 500 meters. She is the first U.S. junior to win gold since Celski in 2009.

On Sunday, she became only the third U.S. woman – and first since 1997 – to win an overall medal at junior worlds.

Biney has made an indelible impression on US Speedskating this season. The high school senior from Reston, Virginia, who was born in Ghana, became the first black woman to represent Team USA in an Olympic short track competition. At the same Games, Erin Jackson became the first black female long track speedskater for Team USA.

Biney is also the first African-born woman to compete for Team USA at an Olympic Winter Games.

Biney, who was told by a coach that she was too fast for figure skating as a 6-year-old, also won a bronze medal in the 500 at world juniors last year when she finished seventh overall.

Biney won her opening round heat in 1,000 qualifying on Sunday and then was second in both her quarterfinal and semifinal heats before taking third in A final. Biney finished fifth in the 1,500-meter final, and her 3,000-meter relay team finished second in the B final for sixth overall.

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.

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Maame Biney

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