In her fourth Olympic Games, Italy's Arianna Fontana finally got over the golden hump by winning the women's 500-meter short track in Pyeongchang on Tuesday.
Fontana's medal was her sixth at the Winter Games, and third consecutive in the 500 event, but her first gold. Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands took silver and Canada's Kim Boutin bronze, both women reaching the Olympic podium for the first time.
"I'm speechless, really. I crossed the line and I thought I was first and I looked at my coach and he (said), 'I don't know, but you did great,'" Fontana said.
"When I saw I was first, I was just yelling and started crying. I worked for four years and the last four months were really hard for me. I was really focused on getting here in the best shape ever."
The 27-year-old Fontana appeared to have needed a lunge on the line to beat out South Korea's Choi Min Jeong, but that was until the judges intervened to penalize the two-time overall world champion, in the process promoting van Kerkhof and Boutin and sending Choi off the second step.
The same day Kei Saito, one of the reserves for Japan's men's 5,000 relay squad, was handed a ban for a doping infringement, the rest of his teammates had to go into battle at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
And it was a battle the Japanese team lost, as with four laps to go in its heat and skating hard to catch second-placed Hungary, it all came to an abrupt end when a corner rut claimed Ryosuke Sakazume and sent him sliding into the wall.
"I knew nothing would be won if I take a spill, but I did," said Sakazume. "I'm disappointed that I was unable to keep the team in the race and I feel bad (about it)."
Keita Watanabe thought the fall was the least of Japan's problems.
"The pace of the race was quite fast from the beginning and we dealt with it pretty well," he said. "It feels like we genuinely fell short of the other teams in both speed and strength in the end."
In the other heat, Canada and China separated themselves from the Netherlands with six laps to go, but a late charge by Dutchman Sjinkie Knegt allowed him to sneak under Canada's Samuel Girard in the final corner. The late attempt put the Canadian into the wall, earning Knegt a penalty and sending the Canadians through.
Earlier on Tuesday evening in the men's 1,000 heats, Japan saw some badly needed short track success.
In perhaps a sign of things to come, Sakazume had his legs taken out from under him and fell, but was handed a reprieve by the judges and progressed to the next round. In the next heat, Kazuki Yoshinaga was able to join his countryman when he beat Canada's Charle Cournoyer into second by a toe.
Keita Watanabe was not so lucky, though, as he was pushed wide in the final turn and into third in his heat.
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