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Ohno makes history with silver in men's short track 1,500

Apolo Anton Ohno celebrates winning silver in the 1,500-meter short track. (George Bridges / MCT)
Apolo Anton Ohno celebrates winning silver in the 1,500-meter short track. (George Bridges / MCT)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Apolo Anton Ohno stands alone among United States men who have competed in Olympic Winter Games.

The Seattle native took home the silver in 1,500 meter short-track speedskating Saturday at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. It was Ohno's sixth career Olympic medal, surpassing Eric Heiden. Ohno is now tied with Bonnie Blair for most medals won during the Winter Games by an American.

In fourth halfway through the final lap, Ohno took advantage when Korean skaters Ho-Suk Lee and SiBak Sung took each other out in the final turn. American J.R. Celski won the bronze. Jung-Su Lee of Korea took gold, the spill spoiling a potential Korean sweep of the podium.

On the women's side, Katherine Reutter of Champaign, Ill., and Alyson Dudek lived to skate another day as both U.S. skaters advanced to the quarterfinals of the 500 meter event.

"Going into this race I was very jittery," said Reutter, who finished first in her heat and qualified with the fourth-fastest overall time of 44.187 to move on to Wednesday's quarters. "It's kind of a motto, so right before I got out on the ice I kept telling myself to, 'Just do me, just do what I do. Just because it's the Olympics I don't have to bring it more, I don't have to skate better. What I do is good enough.'

"I earned my way here and I'm ready to race in the finals."

Reutter paused during her post-race discussion to watch teammate Dudek. She flashed a smile when Dudek finished second with a time of 44.560 to advance. Both will be chasing China's Meng Wang, who has dominated short-track speedskating the last two years and set an Olympic record Saturday with a time of 43.926.

"The first race of any competition is the most nerve-wracking," Dudek, from Hales Corners, Wis., said. "I'm just happy that one is out of the way. I really fed off the crowd's energy. It was really cool. I'm just happy to have that first race out of the way. I was real anxious, real excited but it's okay.

"Katherine and I both made it out which is awesome for the U.S. This year we're a really strong women's team."

Reutter, who normally excels at longer-distance events, didn't make things easy on herself with a false-start. A second would have meant disqualification.

"I felt like I had contained the jitters, but apparently not," she said. "I'm actually kind of happy it happened. Once it did I had to force myself to take a deep breath and stretch out my arms. It was like, 'Katherine, if you mess up again, you're out. So get your act together.' And I did it and it worked."

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