American short track star J.R. Celski's first bid to add to his Olympic medal haul at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi fell short of the mark when he finished just off the podium in the men's 1,500 meter final on Feb. 10.
Celski, who won bronze in the 1,500 meter event at the 2010 Vancouver Games, made the A-final, but wound up crossing the finish line at the close of the 14-lap race in fourth place. Canada's Charles Hamelin, who won gold in the 500 meter event in Vancouver, took the top spot with a time of 2:14.95, while China's Tianyu Han claimed silver and Victor An of Russia finished third. Celski finished .562 second behind An.
The two-time Olympic medalist, who is easily the United States' best hope for short track gold in Sochi, took the loss in stride. During a post-race chat with reporters, he said he was happy to be in Sochi, and remarked that "any position I finish in is awesome."
Celski, who earned berths in all three individual short track events after a dominant set of performances at the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials in January, will also compete in the upcoming 500 meter, 1,000 meter and 5,000 meter relay events.