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USA's Reutter finishes fourth in women's short-track 1,500

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Katherine Reutter has huge goals.

Reaching a smaller one in Saturday's 1,500 meters would be big enough.

The U.S. skater was trying to be the first U.S. woman to win an individual Olympic short track medal since Cathy Turner in 1994.

It did not happen, as Reutter finished fourth in a race when she got into trouble twice. She has one more chance in the 1,000 later this week.

Zhou Yang of China won, with Lee Eun-Byul of South Korea second and Park Seung-Hi of South Korea, third.

Reutter wound up in the outside lane of the crowded final and immediately moved to second.

She stumbled with 11 laps to go, then with seven laps to go, she pushed Park from behind and dropped all the way to last. She worked her way back to a distant fourth.

Reutter did not lack for confidence it would happen after finishing seventh in the 500 last week.

"The 1500 is my best event anyway, so bring it on," she said. "I'm a better racer than I am a sprinter. The 1500 is all about strategy.

"If I don't screw up, I'll walk away with a medal."

She didn't get it despite not having to beat China's Wang Meng, the best short tracker in the world.

Wang was disqualified after a semifinal in which she tangled with Reutter, both went down, and Reutter brought down Cho Ha-Ri of South Korea. The referee advanced Reutter and Cho to the final.

Emulating Wang is, ironically, one of Reutter's goals.

"My goal is to be the next Wang Meng, the person who dominates every distance," Reutter said in an interview before leaving for Vancouver. "I want to be the best there ever was in this sport."

Before she can do that, Reutter needed simply to establish herself among the world's elite.

"Last year was about proving that I didn't have to be right-on and they (competitors) didn't have to mess up," she said. "This year, I am fully convinced that I am good enough to be here."

Reutter, 21, was in the same quarterfinal heat as Wang, 24, the 500-meter winner here who also won medals of each color at the 2006 Olympics.

A big move with two laps to go put Reutter 10 meters ahead, but Wang sent a message by zooming past in the final lap to win as both advanced to the semifinals.

They were together again in the semis an hour later.

In short track, anything can happen, and it did with 2 1/4 laps to go.

Coming through a turn, Reutter got tangled up with Wang. The referee ruled it was the Chinese star's fault, and that led to a very crowded final, with eight women instead of the expected six, since the top two finishers from the semi also advanced.

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