Ohno wins 1,000 meters at short track
MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Apolo Anton Ohno is certainly going to the Winter Olympics. He's eager for the rest of the skating team to start preparing.
Ohno won the 1,000 meters at the short track speedskating World Cup on Sunday, beating South Korea's Lee Jung-su in the final. It was the final day of qualifying for spots at the Vancouver Games.
"I feel great and I'm really excited about the next three months we have to train," Ohno said. "We all realize now what we need to do and realize the steps we have to take to be at our best at the Games."
The announcement on which skaters will be competing in each distance will not be made until January, according to Peri Kinder of USA Speedskating.
American Katherine Reutter finished second in the women's 1,000 behind Meng Wang of China. Reutter and Ohno each have a second place World Cup ranking in the 1,000.
"The [International Skating Union] has to review all the results, and each team's coaches will have to decide who will be skating where over the next couple of months," Kinder said.
The U.S. team faced a lot of adversity during the final World Cup as a number of team members had to be replaced by alternates because of sickness and injury.
"Jessica Smith, Jeff Simon, Anthony Lobello and Charles Leveille all came as the alternates, and they skated very well," said Simon Cho, a member of the U.S. men's team who was ill through the first three days of competition. "They helped the team qualify for all the positions."
Cho skated in just one event all week, the men's 5,000-meter relay on Sunday.
The U.S. team finished fourth behind Korea, Canada and China in the overall 5,000-meter World Cup relay standings after its silver medal finish in Sunday's final. Travis Jayner, Ohno, Cho and Lobello comprised the American team.
"We're getting into the finals, we're putting people up on the podium, and that's awesome," he said.
Reutter said Wang has been dominating the 1,000 distance for two years, and that she has a big challenge ahead of her.
"The Chinese skaters accelerate so quickly, and I think I skated a little bit too safely, and wish I had been more aggressive," Reutter said.
"It feels fantastic to be second overall in the rankings, and my goal is first place at the Olympics," Reutter added.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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