USA pulled off a miracle in a world record time of 6:29.052, edging the mighty Koreans in a photo finish in the men’s 5000m relay at the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track.
China and two-time winner Canada crashed with 28 laps to go to open the door for USA but the Americans still had the mammoth obstacle of Korea in front of them in Shanghai.
They kept pace with them and it eventually paid off at the finish line.
“At one point we were just trying to stay on pace because it was so fast,” said J R Celski (USA).
“I looked up to the board and I was like, how long can we hold on to this?”
The three-time Olympic medallist thought that the collision between China and Canada would stop the race and said he was glad his opponents are fine.
Canada eventually was awarded bronze after China was penalised.
“We were aiming for the gold medal but the fall was unfortunate,” said Charles Hamelin (CAN).
“The pass was really good, we got taken down, we tried our best to come back but we had a little trouble.”
The three-time Olympic gold medallist added: “We thought we could win this one again. We had the legs and the strength.”
“We’re just happy with everything coming together,” said Celski. “It’s amazing. We work really hard as a team and to see them (teammates) have hope and go out there and attack the relay like we can win, it builds confidence.”
It was also Korea’s first men’s relay medal this world cup season. Russia won the B final, while Dordrecht silver medallist the Netherlands were eliminated during the heats.
Alas, it was USA’s day, a first relay gold since 2013.