Three United States short track skaters finished in the top 10 of the women’s 1000m event on Friday led by Kristen Santos, who nearly earned a spot on the podium for the first time.
Santos was in a dog fight for third place when she and Italy’s Arianna Fontana went down after contact and slid into the side padding. The 27-year-old from Connecticut dusted herself off and finished fourth while Fontana was penalized for a lane change that caused contact.
The American called the crash “heartbreaking” in an Instagram post after the race, but she shared a message of positivity, as well.
“While (fourth) place hurts, I’m trying to channel this girl right here who knows she’s strong and has all the power in the world to medal in her next race,” Santos wrote. “1,500 meters still to come and I’m more motivated than ever to have the results I know I’m capable of.”
She received support from her American teammates.
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Santos has another chance for a medal in the women’s 1500m competition, which begins on Wednesday.
Corrine Stoddard and Maame Biney both reached the B Final on Friday. Stoddard, a 20-year-old from Seattle, Washington, crossed the line third. Biney, the 22-year-old who was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. as a young child, finished fifth.
“I’m super excited about my results from today and proud of my (two) teammates,” Stoddard wrote on Instagram.
Stoddard recorded the fastest third-place time in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. She did so with a bandaged nose, which she broke during the 500m heats when she crashed into the padding.
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Biney won her heat on Wednesday and came in second place in her quarterfinal.
“I raced like I never have in these races, went the fastest I ever have in this distance, so I am on top of the world right now,” Biney posted on Instagram.
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The fourth U.S. short track skater to perform on Friday was Ryan Pivirotto, who qualified for the men’s 500m quarterfinals with a third-place finish. The 26-year-old also took to social media after the event, but he did not talk about himself.
“These three ladies right here showed everyone that they are capable of competing with and taking over the world,” Pivirotto wrote. “Everyone should hold their heads high with what they accomplished tonight. It truly shows the dedication they have.”
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His next race is the 500m quarterfinal on Sunday.
The U.S. women will get one more 3000m relay in the B Final, which is also on Sunday.