VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Trailing the South Koreans and a pair of Canadian brothers, Apolo Anton Ohno had to rally on the last lap to make history.
With the gold and silver out of reach, Ohno scooted furiously past brothers Charles and Francois Hamelin to earn a bronze in the short-track 1,000-meter final Saturday night, making him the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian.
Lee Jung-su of South Korea won his second gold in Vancouver and teammate Lee Ho-suk earned the silver. The Koreans earned four of the six short track medals awarded Saturday night.
Ohno's seventh career medal broke a tie with long-track speedskater Bonnie Blair. He now has two gold, two silver and three bronze medals in his three Olympic appearances. The skater from Seattle already earned a silver in the 1,500 last weekend.
"I'm very happy for Apolo's accomplishment," Blair said in a statement from Pacific Coliseum, where she was on hand to watch the race.
"It's a great feat for him, US Speedskating, and the United States of America. We hope that more kids will see his accomplishments and want to try our great sport that has been so good to us and taught us so much about what it takes to be successful in life."
Also attending was the star of the Beijing Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps, who won a total of 14 gold medals over two Summer Games.
Ohno, whose medals are the most of any short-track skater, appeared relieved as he crossed the finish line, having skated near the back of the pack early in the nine-lap race. He briefly moved up to second, then dropped to last with three laps to go, forcing his rally near the end.
Ohno grabbed an American flag and skated around, then patted his long-time South Korean rivals on their shoulders.
He has two more events — the 500 and 5,000 relay — and a chance to add more medals to his cache.
The 1,000 lacked the drama of Ohno's first race, the 1,500, in which he claimed silver and teammate J.R. Celski took bronze after Koreans Lee Ho-suk and Sung Si-bak crashed in the final turn. Lee Jung-su won that race, too.
This time, short track failed to live up to its reputation for thrills and spills.
Ohno made it safely through the quarterfinals and semifinals without any drama. Francois Hamelin advanced to the final after Celski was disqualified for causing Hamelin to crash in their heat.
In the final, Ohno was up against the powerful South Koreans and the Canadian brothers, who led the early laps. Working together, neither duo gave an inch and Ohno was left to rely on his experience to work his way onto the podium in the last lap.
Ohno clearly had the crowd support, with fans holding up red-white-and-blue signs reading, "U.S.A.4A.A.O" and "Oh No."
Sung won the consolation final.
In the women's 1,500 final, Zhou Yang of China easily won the gold medal.
Zhou breezed to the finish line well ahead of Lee Eun-byul of South Korea, who earned the silver. Park Seung-hi of South Korea took the bronze.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.