Biney Wins First U.S. Junior Women's Gold At World Junior Short Track Championships

March 03, 2018, 2:11 p.m. (ET)

Maame Biney (Reston, Va.) won the first U.S. Junior women’s gold medal on Saturday, sweeping her 500m races on the second day of racing from World Junior Short Track Championships at the Ice Arena in Tomaszow Mazowieckei, Poland.

“It feels really good,” said Biney. “I felt like I really deserved it today and I’m really happy. I just raced my race and made sure not to overestimate anyone.”

The 2018 Olympian left nothing to chance, winning every 500m race she competed in, capping it off with a gold-medal skate in 44.305 seconds in the A Final. After two distances, Biney is currently second in the women’s overall standings with 34 points. She is just five points behind the current leader, Korea’s Kim Ji Yoo.

“This is a huge boost from the Olympics since I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” said Biney. “This means that I’m really ready for the World Cup stage and can continue to get better.”

Biney won bronze in the women’s 500m at the 2016-17 World Junior Short Track Championships, becoming just the third U.S. women to ever medal at a junior event (Julie Goskowicz 1500m bronze, 1997 & Erin Porter 1500m bronze, 1996). Her gold is the first junior gold for Team USA since J.R. Celski won the men’s 500m in 2009.

Gabriella Hachem (North Potomac, Md.) and Julie Letai (Medfield, Mass.) also skated in the women’s 500m, with Hachem making it to the heat round and Letai making it to the quarterfinals.

Hachem and Biney also skated in the women’s 1500m but both skaters did not advance past the semifinal rounds.

On the men’s side, Brandon Kim (Fairfax, Va.) led the way, finishing third in both the men’s 500m B Final and 1500m B Final. The two-time World Junior team member finished seventh overall in the 500m and ninth overall in the 1500m.

Aaron Heo (Warrington, Pa.) and Jonathan So (Herndon, Va.) both made it to the men’s 1500m semifinals but failed to advance due to penalties. Heo also skated in the men’s 500m, reaching the quarterfinal round.

Both the men’s and women’s 3000m relay teams, finished third in their respective semifinal races and advanced to the B Finals.

To see the full results, click here.

Highlights from World Junior Short Track Championships

  • Maame Biney won the women’s 500m gold in 44.305 seconds, becoming the first U.S. junior women to win gold at World Junior Short Track Championships…she is currently second in the women’s overall standings
  • Brandon Kim reached the B Final in both the men’s 500m and 1500m, finishing third in both races.
  • The women’s relay team of Elizabeth Johnson (Orange, Calif.), Biney, Hachem and Letai finished third in their semifinal race and advanced to the B Final
  • The men’s relay team of Andrew Heo (Warrington, Pa.), Aaron Heo, Kim and So finished third in their semifinal race and advanced to the B Final

Quotes from Maame Biney

  • “It feels really good. I felt like I really deserved it today and I’m really happy. I just raced my raced and I made sure not to overestimate anyone.”
  • “This is a huge boost from the Olympics since I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. This means that I’m really ready for the World Cup stage and can continue to get better.”