It was a big Sunday for short-track speedskater Maame Biney, the teenager who rocketed into the hearts of Team USA fans last year with her giant smile, infectious personality and mighty talent.
Not only did Biney win her first world cup medal with a bronze in the women’s 500 meters but she also followed that up by helping the U.S. win bronze in the mixed relay in Torino, Italy.
The University of Utah freshman, who turned 19 years old just last month, kicked things off with a medal-winning performance in the 500, the distance at which she is the reigning world junior champion. A week after finishing second in the “B” final with a time of 44.177 seconds at the world cup stop in Dresden, Germany, she qualified for the “A” final on Sunday with a second-place finish in her semifinal heat with a time of 43.881 seconds.
Italy’s Martina Valcepina won the final in 43.643 followed by Great Britain’s Elise Christie with a time of 43.903, but Biney wasn’t far behind, her time of 44.010 seconds earning her that first piece of coveted hardware.
Not long after, Biney teamed with Kristen Santos, Jonathan So and Aaron Tran to pick up the bronze in the 2,000 mixed relay. Russia and Canada were neck-and-neck for first and second but the U.S. turned in a strong performance to take third with a time of 2:43.493.
The U.S. men also qualified a team for the “B” final of the 5,000 relay.