USA disqualified after skating review, allowing China to win first medal at 2022 Games

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Team USA speed skating believed it just punched its ticket to the short-track speed skating mixed team relay finals ... until the semifinal race went under review. The United States was eventually penalized and disqualified, paving the way for China to win its first medal at the Beijing Olympics.

At the conclusion of the semifinal race, Team USA appeared to be in. The team finished second, behind Hungary. The top two teams advance to the finals. It was enough to knock China — the favorite, which had finished third — out of the final. But the race came under review to determine whether the Chinese team was impeded during the event.

After a lengthy review, it was determined the Chinese team was impeded twice during the event. Both Russia and Team USA were disqualified, allowing China to advance to the final.

Some questioned whether the disqualifications were warranted, especially considering the host country's team benefitted from the ruling. One review showed an opposing skater's arm impeding a Chinese skater, which is against the rules. Skaters cannot take any action that prevents another skater from advancing on the ice.

Team USA skater Ryan Pivirotto, who was penalized for impeding China after crossing the blue line early, said he was already focusing on his next events.

Pivirotto qualified for the individual 1000m quarterfinals Saturday. He will take part in that event Monday.

China wins gold medal after semifinal disqualifications

China moved on to the final, where the team narrowly took home the gold medal. Chinese skater Wu Dajing finished ahead of Italy's Pietro Sighel by .016 seconds. The final was also placed under review due to the close finish. After review, it was determined China defeated Italy.

It was China's first medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Italy took home silver and Hungary walked away with bronze.

Team USA has yet to win at medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Dajing Wu with China.
Dajing Wu narrowly finished ahead of Pietro Sighel to win a gold medal for China. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)