OLYMPICS | SPEEDSKATING

Miami’s Eddy Alvarez, teammates reach 5,000 speedskating relay final after crash

 

lrobertson@miamiherald.com

Miami’s Eddy Alvarez and his U.S. short track speedskating teammates survived a wild crash in the 5,000-meter relay semifinals at the Winter Olympics to advance to next week’s final, where they have an improved chance of winning a medal due to the misfortune of the top two teams.

The U.S. skaters had to wait after crossing the finish line last of four teams to find out if the referee would rule in their favor. He did, deciding upon video review that South Korea’s Ho-Suk Lee interfered with Alvarez when Alvarez tried to pass.

South Korea, silver medalist in 2010, was disqualified and the U.S. was waved onward to the Feb. 21 showdown. Defending gold medalist Canada crashed out in the other semifinal.

“It was a very stressful three minutes,” Alvarez said of the wait. “I’m extremely relieved. Now we have to skate to our potential in the final. We have to let the tiger out of the cage.”

Alvarez was accelerating through a turn with four laps to go in the 3.1-mile race when he hit Lee’s arm. Both skaters slipped, fell and tumbled into the pads.

“I got a real good exchange from Jordan [Malone] and came in hard,” Alvarez said. “Unfortunately, he [Lee] held his hand out there and I clipped it and went down. I’m glad the referee saw it. Sometimes those calls can go against you.”

South Korean skater Da Woo Sin concurred with the decision.

“We moved into them,” he said. “It wasn’t the Americans’ fault. There was a mix-up with our signals. It’s a pity.”

Alvarez, 23, a Miami Columbus High graduate, also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1,000 meters with a second-place finish in his heat. Alvarez placed behind triple gold medalist Charles Hamelin of Canada with a time of 1:26.070, holding off Great Britain’s Jack Whelbourne by .016.

The remaining rounds and final of the 1,000 will be held Saturday at Iceberg Skating Palace.

Alvarez’s relay teammates J.R. Celski and Chris Creveling also advanced, as did favorite Victor Ahn, formerly of South Korea, now skating for Russia.

Alvarez also competes in the 500 meters – which he considers his strongest event – next week.

Read more Olympics stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
In this photo taken Thursday Aug. 14, 2014, performers tied to wires to rehearse for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games which opens Aug 16, 2014 in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

    Youth Olympics open in China amid Ebola worries

    Fears of the Ebola virus cast a cloud over Saturday's opening of the second Youth Olympics in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, after three athletes were barred from competition because of the risk of infection.

  •  
A Liberian woman holds up a pamphlet with guidance on how to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Liberian officials faced a difficult choice Thursday: deciding which handful of Ebola patients will receive an experimental drug that could prove life-saving, ineffective or even harmful.

    Ebola: 3 athletes can't compete at Youth Olympics

    Three teenage athletes from the Ebola-affected region of Africa will not be allowed to compete at the Youth Olympics in China because of the risk of possible infection, the IOC and local organizers said Friday.

  • Ebola forces Sierra Leone to skip Youth Olympics

    Sierra Leone's National Olympic Committee says its delegation for the upcoming youth games was asked not to travel to China because of an outbreak of Ebola.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category