Team USA speed skating thought it had punched its ticket to the mixed team relay finals in short-track speed skating… until the semifinal race was overturned. The US was eventually penalized and disqualified, allowing China to win its first Olympic medal at the Beijing Games.
Team USA appeared to be in at the end of the semifinal race. The team came in second place, behind Hungary. The top two teams progress to the championship round. It was enough to knock China, the favorite, out of the final when they finished third. However, the race was reviewed to see if the Chinese team was impeded during the event.
After a lengthy review, it was determined the Chinese team was impeded twice during the event. China advanced to the final when Russia and Team USA were disqualified.
Some questioned whether the disqualifications were justified, especially because the ruling benefited the host country’s squad. An opponent skater’s arm was seen hindering a Chinese skater in one review, which is against the rules. Skaters are not allowed to take any action that would prevent another skater from moving forward on the ice.
Ryan Pivirotto of Team USA, who was penalized for impeding China by crossing the blue line early, said he was already focused on his next events.
On Saturday, Pivirotto qualified for the individual 1000m quarterfinals. On Monday, he will take part in that event.
After semifinal disqualifications, China won the gold medal.
As per Sports. Yahoo, China moved onto the final, where they won the gold medal by a razor-thin margin. Wu Dajing of China finished.016 seconds ahead of Pietro Sighel of Italy. Because of the close finish, the final was also put under review. After review, it was concluded that China had defeated Italy.
It was China’s first medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Italy was awarded silver, while Hungary was awarded bronze.
At the Beijing Olympics, Team USA has yet to win a medal.