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Celski qualifies for 3rd event at Sochi Olympics

January 5, 2014
Associated Press

KEARNS, Utah (AP) — J.R. Celski won the 1,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials Sunday, giving him three individual events to compete in at the Sochi Games.

Celski heads to his second Olympics as the dominant American short track skater. He lost just one race during the four-day trials at the Utah Olympic Oval, finishing second by half a blade length to Chris Creveling in the first 1,000 final on Sunday.

Celski came back to easily win the second 1,000 final of the day.

He'll be joined on the men's team by Eddy Alvarez, Creveling, 2010 Olympian Jordan Malone and Kyle Carr. Alvarez became the first Cuban-American man to make a U.S. Olympic speedskating team.

Jessica Smith won both of the women's 1,000 finals, and she'll skate in three individual events in Sochi. Joining her on the women's team are 2010 Olympian Alyson Dudek and Emily Scott. The U.S. didn't qualify a relay for the games, leaving the American women with their smallest squad since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1996.

Smith is the only Olympian to be coached by Jae Su Chun, who was accused by a dozen national team members of physical, emotional and verbal abuse in fall 2012. He also was alleged to have ordered speedskater Simon Cho to sabotage the skates of a Canadian rival.

Chun denied all allegations, and other members of the team came to his defense. Chun is serving a two-year suspension through October. He was allowed to be in the stands during the trials, but not inside the racing area. Smith relied on another coach when she was on the ice.

 
 

 

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