Federal Way short track speedskater J.R. Celski will not be leaving PyeongChang with an Olympic medal. It started with a bizarre sequence of events in the preliminary heats of the 1,000 meters Tuesday, followed by a disastrous finish for the U.S. relay team.
Celski was in the eighth and final heat of the 1,000 meters, needing to finish in the top two of his heat to advance.
The heat was about half over, and the four racers had broken into two groups -- Shaolin Sandor Liu of Hungary and Pavel Sitnikov of Russia were in the front group with Celski and Roberto Pukitis of Latvia were trailing behind.
Liu and Sitnikov were tussling for position, and that led to a crash that took out Sitnikov, Celski, and Pukitis. Celski ended up crashing into the barrier.
Sitnikov was disqualified and the officials made the decision to restart the race from the beginning. Before the race, however, Celski had to have some repairs done to his skate.
The restart went without incident, but Celski failed to finish in the top two and did not advance.
The night got worse for Celski as the U.S. men failed to qualify for the gold medal final of the 5,000 meter relay. They finished third in their heat, with the top two teams advancing. That team includes Federal Way's Aaron Tran.
Tran has one event remaining -- the 500 meters.
Highlights from short track are expected to air during NBC's late primetime coverage Tuesday.