For the first time in six years, the U.S. does not own any short track speed skating world records.
Hungary wiped the American men’s 5000m relay mark off the book at the season-opening World Cup in Calgary on Sunday.
Brothers Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin Sandor, Csaba Burjan and former U.S. skater Cole Krueger combined to clock 6:28.625 as the top three nations all went under the U.S.’ world record of 6:29.052 set last November.
The Liu brothers and Burjan were part of the Hungarian team that won the Olympic relay, marking the nation’s first Winter Games gold medal.
Hungary recovered in Sunday’s race from a messy exchange that saw its skater handing off fall to the ice with 21 laps left.
Shaolin crossed the finish line after 45 laps, .232 ahead of South Korea, not realizing it was a world record. Shaolin passed a Dutch skater for the lead on the last lap.
“I was shouting, ‘Yes baby,’ wanting to high-five my coaches, and then I went to hug my brother, and he said, ‘Look at the screen!’” Shaolin said, according to the International Skating Union. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, how did we do that?’”
Krueger’s younger brother, John-Henry Krueger, earned the lone U.S. short track medal in PyeongChang, a 1000m silver, then announced two months later he was switching representation to Hungary, too. John-Henry, who must sit out this season due to transfer rules, was part of the U.S. team that had the previous 5000m relay world record.
“Funny how life works,” was tweeted from John-Henry Krueger’s account. “Today is the only time in my skating career I can say I am happy to lose.”
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