|(Sochi Games) China’s Fan through to short track semis
Fan Kexin of China advanced to the semi-finals of the women's 500-meter short track event today, looking to succeed injured countrywoman Wang Meng as Olympic champion.
Marianne St-Gelais of Canada and Arianna Fontana of Italy, both medalists four years ago in Vancouver, also advanced. They were joined in the semis by Park Seung Hi of South Korea, Liu Quiuhong and Li Jianrou of China, Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands and Elise Christie of Britain, AP reports.
Meng's absence because of a broken ankle means that for the first time since 2002 the title will go to someone new.
Emily Scott of the US, finished last in her four-skater quarterfinal and didn't advance.
Park is trying to give South Korea a victory in the only short track event they have never won. If she does, the nation would be the first to win all eight Olympic short track events.
The final is later today at Iceberg Skating Palace.
In the men's 1,000 heats, Viktor Ahn of Russia, 1,500 gold medalist Charles Hamelin of Canada and J.R. Celski of Federal Way, Wash., advanced to quarterfinals.
Ahn led all the way in his heat, provoking the loudest cheers from the home fans. Ahn gave his adopted country its first short track medal when he earned a bronze in the 1,500 on Monday. Sin Da Woon of South Korea, which Ahn represented in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, won a photo finish for second in the same heat.
Celski won his heat by a large margin over Semen Elistratov of Russia.
Hamelin, the world's top-ranked skater in the event, is trying to become the third skater to sweep the 1,000 and 1,500 at the same Olympics.
Lee Han Bin of South Korean moved on after Thibaut Fauconnet of France fell and took out Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary in the last of eight heats.
Also advancg was Olivier Jean of Canada, who barely got his skate in front of Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands in a photo finish. Eddy Alvarez of Miami, Fla., pumped his right fist twice after grabbing the second spot in his heat behind winner Wu Dajing of China. Alvarez narrowly edged out Jack Whelbourne of Britain, who hurt his ankle in the 1,500.