The men’s 1500m is the first short track final of the Games and it is possible that it will produce the first South Korean medal earned in any sport in PyeongChang. The host nation has had the majority of its previous Olympic success in the short track, with the sport accounting for 42 of the country’s 53 all-time winter medals heading into the Games.
A few notable faces are missing from this years 1500m field. Current 1500m world champion Sin Da-Woon did not make the team due to the South Korea’s ultra-competitive Olympic team. Also missing, is eight-time Olympic medalist Viktor Ahn due to his involvement in the Russian doping scandal.
NBCOlympics.com will be streaming every round of every competition live online. Links to each stream are below.
Qualification heats: Saturday, Feb 10, 5:00 a.m. ET
Semifinal heats: Saturday, Feb 10, 6:21 a.m. ET
Final heats: Saturday, Feb 10, 7:22 a.m. ET
Semifinal and final times are estimates
Who’s competing: John-Henry Kruger, J.R. Celski, Aaron Tran
Celski is the most likely American to medal in the event. Celski placed fourth in the event in Sochi and has continued to perform well in the event since. He concluded the fall World Cup season with a third-place result in the 1500m, marking his 16th individual career World Cup medal. The three-time Olympic medalist, who has struggled with injury in recent years is healthy entering PyeongChang.
Four years after falling ill with swine flu during the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials, Krueger, had a strong showing at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Trials in December winning the 500m,1000m, and 1500m.
Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands: Knegt has shown consistent success in the 1500m in recent years, finishing in the top three of the World Cup standings each of the last three seasons. Knegt is the current world record holder in the event and has a chance of winning his nation’s first short track gold in PyeongChang.
Hwang Dae-Heon, South Korea: Hwang was deemed a “virtual unknown” when he made the South Korean Olympic team, but the 18-year old has since established himself. Hwang finished on the 1500m podium at all four World Cup events the fall of 2017.
Charles Hamelin, Canada: Hamelin enters the Games as the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 1500m. Recently, the four-time Olympic medalist has not had the same amount of success, finishing out of the podium at two of four World Cup competitions last season. Despite this, he shouldn’t be counted out.
Sam Girard, Canada: Considered the next great Canadian short track speed skater, Hamelin has enjoyed a breakthrough in recent years, highlighted by a second-place result in the 1500m at last season’s World Championships.
Also in the mix: Lim Hyo-Jun (KOR), Han Tianyu (CHN), Liu Shaoang (HUN), Semyon Elistratov (OAR), and Charlie Cournoyer (CAN).