Some of the United States’ most promising young short track speedskaters made their marks on the inaugural ISU Four Continents Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal this weekend.
Maame Biney, the first African-American female speedskater to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2018, won a bronze medal while Olympic teammate Thomas Hong also took a bronze medal in the individual races.
Now 19 years old, Biney started the weekend by winning the bronze medal in the women’s 1,500-meter. Breaking up a concentration of South Koreans in three of the top four spots, Biney came in behind Min Jeong Choi and Whi Min Seo, skating to a third-place finish with a time of 2:41.417.
Biney was on track to finish third in the 500-meter final as well but received a penalty.
Biney won the national title in the 1,500-meter and earned her spot on the world championship team earlier this month. In December, she was part of the team that won bronze in the women’s 3,000-meter relay in world cup event No. 4 on the season; it was Team USA’s first women’s relay medal in eight years.
Hong, 22, followed suit in the men's 1,500-meter with a time of 2:21.627 that put him in third place. South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang won with a time of 2:21.140, while Canada’s Steven Dubois was second in 2:21.475.
Hong also finished just off the podium in fourth place in the men’s 500-meter. He made the world championship team earlier this month with two national titles.
He finished fifth in the men’s overall classification, while Biney was sixth in the women’s.
Capping off the weekend, the U.S. men’s team won bronze in the 5,000-meter relay. Olympians Hong, Ryan Pivirotto and Aaron Tran, plus Andrew Heo, an 18-year-old who competed in his first-ever world cup short track A final in December, combined for a time of 6:59.891 to finish behind Korea and Canada and capture the last spot on the podium.