SALT LAKE CITY (AP) John-Henry Krueger won the men’s 1,000-meter race and China’s Fan Kexin dominated the women’s competition at the Apolo Ohno Invitational on Friday night.
Krueger was the only American to win an event, beating Canada’s Charles Hamelin and China’s Wu Dajing.
”I didn’t want to be behind in the race and mess around with collisions, so I took a simpler but harder approach by leading up in front,” Krueger said. ”It’s what got me the gold today.”
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Wu won the men’s 500 with Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands finishing second and Hamelin third.
Kexin won every women’s event, including the 500 and 1,000. The Sochi Olympic silver medalist also led China to victory in the 3,000 relay.
In the women’s 1,000, China’s Yutong Han came in second and Jessica Smith of the United States was third.
”When you have three Chinese (skaters) in your race, it’s hard to get around one of them, let alone three,” Smith said. ”So I just wanted to position myself well and race with my heart and see what I could do.”
In the women’s 500, Canadians Marianne St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette were second and third, respectively.
The inaugural event featured skaters from the United States, Canada, China and the Netherlands in races for bragging rights and prize money – a rarity in short-track racing. Winners earned $5,000 for a first-place finish, $3,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.
The Dutch won the men’s 5,000 relay, a 45-lap free-for-all in which China was disqualified for a violation after initially finishing second. The United States moved up to second, and Canada was third.
”The money is new for us, and the excitement of the tournament is a little bit new,” said Freek van der Wart, a member of the Dutch men’s relay team, which split the first-place prize. ”I like this (Apolo Ohno Invitational), and I hope it will get bigger and better. I hope it’s going to grow because it has great potential, and it is putting skaters in the spotlight.”