Three U.S. skaters reached the women’s 1000m quarterfinals, which will kick of a busy Friday in short track at the Winter Olympics.
The final three rounds of the women’s 1000m, the men’s 500m heats and 5000m relay semifinals continue competition at the Capital Indoor Stadium.
Kristen Santos and Maame Biney of the U.S. won their respective heats on Wednesday, the latter doing so after the defending silver medalist, Canada’s Kim Boutin, fell with the lead during the final lap.
American Corrine Stoddard also qualified after corralling the best third-place time of the heats.
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No U.S. skater has ever won gold in the women’s 1000m, and Katherine Reutter-Adamek is the only American to medal having earned a silver in 2010.
Even with Boutin eliminated, multiple giants of the sport stand in the trio’s way, including Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting. She is the defending gold medalist who set the Olympic record during her heat.
South Korea’s Choi Min-Jeong held the record for a matter of minutes after setting in the first heat. A South Korean has won the gold medal at every other Winter Olympics since 1998, and Choi’s first race shows that she is a threat to keep that streak going.
Ten-time Olympic medalist Arianna Fontana of Italy already won a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics and is a threat for more hardware. She secured the bronze in the 1000m in 2018.
Santos has had the most recent success of the three Americans in the 1000m, finishing second to Schulting in the 2021-2022 World Cup standings. She won a gold medal in the distance last season, so the Fairfield, Connecticut, native has walked the walk before.
See the full results from heats here.
SEE MORE: Maame Biney wins women’s 1000m heat
Men’s 500m heats
Thirty two athletes will race in eight heats that will whittle the field down to 20.
China’s Wu Dajing is the defending gold medalist while South Korea’s Hwang Dae-Heon took home the silver in 2018.
Hwang won the gold medal in the men’s 1500m competition on Wednesday.
Hungarian brothers Liu Shaolin and Liu Shaoang enter with momentum from a strong season. The former finished atop the World Cup standings while the ladder won gold at the 2021 World Championships.
Dajing came earned second place in the World Cup.
American Ryan Pivirotto will race in the same heat as Hwang.
SEE MORE: South Korea’s Hwang Dae-Heon wins gold medal in men’s 1500m
Men’s 5000m relay
There are two semifinal races of four teams and the top-two finishers advance regardless of time.
Group A involves Canada, China, Italy and Japan.
Group B has South Korea, Hungary, the Netherlands and the ROC.
The U.S. did not qualify.
Hungary, led by the Liu brothers, is the defending Olympic champion and has since set the world record at 6:28.625.
There has not been a repeat gold medalist since Canada in 2002. The Canadians finished atop the 2021-2022 World Cup Standings.
The festivities will begin at 6 a.m. ET on Friday. Check out the full short track schedule here.
SEE MORE: Suzanne Schulting sets Olympic record in women’s 1000m heat
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