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U.S. 5,000-meter relay clinches World Cup title

American foursome takes gold in Kolomna ahead of Russians
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The members of the gold medal-winning men's 5,000-meter relay team stand together at the awards ceremony. -Getty Images

Skaters had one last opportunity to earn World Cup rankings points and 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualifying places Sunday at the World Cup short track event in Kolomna, Russia.

Arianna Fontana (Italy) made up for a disappointing performance in the 500 meters on Saturday by winning the 1,000-meter final. Fontana took advantage of a slip by Valérie Maltais (Canada), who had been dominating the race with a lap to go. Alang Kim (Korea) finished second, while Elise Christie (Great Britian) took third. The World Cup distance leader, Suk-Hee Shim, clinched the overall title for the distance despite finishing fifth Sunday. Kim and Fontana concluded the series in second and third place, respectively, in the overall World Cup distance classification.

In the men's 1,000-meter final, Charles Hamelin (Canada) took his second win in as many weekends at this distance, allowing him to clinch the overall 1,000-meter World Cup title. Hamelin, who led for the better part of the race, was followed by Thibaut Fauconnet of France, in second, and American J.R. Celski, in third. Victor An (Russia) secured second place in the overall World Cup classification for the distance thanks to a 12th-place finish Sunday; Niels Kerstholt (Netherlands) took third place overall after a fifth-place finish.

The ladies 3,000-meter relay final saw the same four teams race against each other throughout the series: Korea, China, Italy and Canada. The team from China brought Korea's winning streak in the event to an end, crossing the line just ahead of the Korean team. Korea had already clinched the World Cup title, with China finishing second overall. The third-place finish by Italy secured its third-place finish in the overall classification.

The men's 5,000-meter relay final provided an opportunity for the United States to regain the lead in the World Cup rankings, as the current leader, Canada, was relegated to racing in the B final. The Americans made the most of it, taking the win ahead of Russia. The victory allowed the United States to clinch the World Cup title for the event, while Canada ended up in second place overall after winning the B final. The podium finish by Russia confirmed its third-place rank in the overall classification. Korea took the bronze Sunday.