Ahn lifts Russia to short track relay gold over U.S.

The Sports NetworkFebruary 21, 2014 

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Within an hour of winning individual gold, Viktor Ahn helped Russia take first place in the men's 5,000-meter relay on Friday in short track speedskating at the Sochi Olympics.

Following a breather after winning the 500-meter short track final, Ahn suited up for the four-man Russian relay team and helped the unit post an Olympic record time of 6 minutes and 42.100 seconds. That was just .271 better than the United States.

China finished third with a time of 6:48.341.

Russia and the U.S. were bunched together for most of the race with a comfortable lead over third place. The Americans moved ahead with 14 laps to go, but Russia brought the crowd to its feet by climbing back into first with seven laps remaining.

The U.S. was running out of time to make a move before Ahn skated the final two laps and he did so perfectly, holding off American J.R. Celski.

Ahn won his third gold medal of the Sochi Olympics and sixth of his Olympic career. He claimed a trio of gold medals in 2006 while a member of his native South Korea team, later joining the Russian squad after failing to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

In its last chance to pick up a speed skating medal at these games, the U.S. posted a time of 6:42.371 in the silver effort on the short track. The Americans came into Sochi favored to claim medals in a number of speed skating events, but the likes of Shani Davis and Brittany Bowe were shut out time and time again here in Sochi.

The U.S. had won bronze medals in this event in each of the previous two Olympics.

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