John-Henry Krueger wins short-track silver, ends USA medal drought

Samuel Girard celebrates his gold medal in the men's 1,000 metres at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Feb

Canada's Samuel Girard steered clear of some late lap mayhem to steal the Olympic short-track speedskating 1,000 meters gold medal on Saturday. Girard, 21, finished in 1min 24.650sec, ahead of the USA's John-Henry Krueger, who picked up the silver clocking 1:24.864.

Five gold, five silver and five bronze medals marked a stout first-half performance by Canada's Olympic team in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Lim was tucked behind the leaders when backmarker Sandor Liu of Hungary move up for an attack.

Hamelin, who is competing in his fourth and final Olympics, was once again disappointed at his premature finish in the 1,000 semifinal. "After that I was just thinking about my race and what I had to do".

Girard, who won in a time of one minute 24.65 seconds, skated at the front early in the race, a strategy that can have its risks but proved prudent on Saturday as it allowed him to avoid the crash.

Girard easily reached the podium. I need to see the race back because I don't really understand what happened and what I could have done more.

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Frederic Blackburn of Chicoutimi, Quebec won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, Marc Gagnon of Chicoutimi, Quebec won the bronze medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Eric Bedard of Sainte-Thecle, Quebec won the bronze medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano and Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Quebec won the bronze medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. "We were ready to do a great race in the semis", said Hamelin.

Six of the eight gold medals in this event have been claimed by South Koreans while another was won by Russian Viktor Ahn, who was born in Korea.

"He did it a little bit better than I did", said Krueger.

Yuki Tsubota of Whistler, B.C., was the top Canadian - and the only one of three to make the final.

It was mixed results for Canada in curling, with both teams going against the trend they set to start the Games. She is also the first woman to medal in back-to-back Olympics in skeleton. Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., was 10th and Ottawa's Mirela Rahneva was 12th. The Swedes stole three points and improved their record to 5-0 in South Korea.

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