As the United States continues to chase its first medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics, an unfortunate break went against the Americans in Saturday night’s mixed team short track speedskating relay.
Team USA was competing for one of four spots in the speedskating final and appeared to have clinched it, finishing second in the semifinal heat behind Hungary but ahead of China. China’s third-place result in the semifinal heat would have knocked the team out of the final, which would have been a monumental upset as the Chinese team was favored to finish atop the podium.
After it appeared that the United States made its way into the final, an official review revealed a blocking infraction against the Americans, disqualifying them from the final. China, which originally finished third in the heat, moved up to second and advanced to the final.
China went on to win the gold medal in the event as anticipated, with Italy taking silver and Hungary taking bronze.
Meanwhile for Team USA, the excitement of making the final with an opportunity to medal was replaced with shock and disappointment.
“Apparently one of our teammates crossed the blue line, and that made the Chinese team miss their exchange or something like that. It was an interesting call for sure, but it is what it is,” American Maame Biney told USA TODAY.
Amid the disappointment, Team USA leaves the event still searching for its first medal at the 2022 Olympics.
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