MARQUETTE, Mich. – American Apolo Anton Ohno gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about Sunday (Nov. 15) in the final day of the World Cup short track speedskating competition at the Berry Events Center on Northern Michigan University’s campus. Ohno captured gold in the men’s 1,000 meters, finishing with a time of 1:30.420 in the final. He also helped his team take silver in the 5,000-meter relay with a time of 6:46.420.

“It feels real good (to take gold)” Ohno said. “My goals before the World Cups were to be consistent, make the finals and skate tough against some of the international countries. I accomplished those goals and it feels great.  I’m excited about the next two to three months we have to train before the Olympics. We know the steps we need to take to be at our best.”

Ohno added that crowd support helped, saying “We all love coming to Marquette.  The crowd here has always been phenomenal. That goes a long way.”

Korea’s Jung-Su Lee edged out Canada’s Francois Hamelin 1:30.450 to 1:30.506 to win silver in the men’s 1000m. Si-Bak Sung of Korea finished fourth at 1:53.046.

In the women’s 1,000-meter final, China’s Meng Wang skated to gold. She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:31.005. American Katherine Reutter grabbed silver at 1:31.081. Reutter was satisfied with her second-place finish, but she hopes to improve her standing at the Olympic Games.

"She's (Wang) been darn near undefeated for the past two years,” said Reutter of Wang. “I wish I had been more aggressive and gone for it at the end, but the Chinese accelerate fast. If you go a half track wide, they can sneak inside…I was more willing to be safe in second. The Games will be all out."

 Korea’s Seung-Hi Park took bronze, clocking 1:31.171, and China’s Qiuhong Liu finished fourth at 1:31.257.

The women’s 3,000-meter relay required a photo finish to determine the winner. In the end, China came out on top with a time of 4:10.785. Korea clocked 4:10.786 to secure silver, while Canada settled for bronze at 4:10.825. Japan was fourth at 4:11.189.

Canada captured top honors in the men’s 5000m relay with a time of 6:45.588. The team was pleased to end the competition on a high note.

“It feels great,” said Francois Hamelin. “Since the beginning of year, I’ve been close, but never made it beyond the B final. To be on the podium and give Canada the bronze medal was a big step for me. I’m happy about it; the first podium of the year.”

Korea earned bronze, clocking 6:48.930, and Germany finished fourth at 6:49.067.

Because the event was the final in the 2009 World Cup circuit, overall winners were named. In the men’s rankings, Canada’s Charles Hamelin [Francois Hamelin’s brother] took top honors in the 500 meters (2,328 points). Korea’s Jung-Su Lee won gold in the 1000m (2,600 points) and the 1500m (2,440 points). Lee also helped his team take gold in the 5000m relay (3,000).

China dominated the women’s standings, capturing No. 1 rankings in all distances. Wang finished on top in the 500m (3,000 points) and the 1000m (2,600 points), while Yang Zhou placed first in the 1500m (2,640 points). The Chinese women also won gold in the 3000m relay (3,000 points).

The competition was the final Olympic qualifier for short track skaters to earn spots in various race distances for their nations at the Winter Games. Because the American team’s finish in the relays, it qualified to take the full contingent of 10 skaters – five men and five women – to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in February.