MILWAUKEE (AP) — Erin Jackson slipped in the 500 meters and stunningly finished third, failing to make the Beijing Olympics in her signature event Friday at the U.S. speedskating trials.
She had hoped to be given a re-skate, but the rule only allows for re-skates if there is mechanical failure or a fall. Her only chance of getting into the event would be if one of the top two qualifiers give up their spot.
“I messed up, it’s definitely on me,” Jackson said in an interview on USA Network, “but it would be nice to get that re-skate.”
Jackson, the first Black woman to win a World Cup event when she won in Poland in November, bobbled in the second straightaway of the sprint at the Pettit National Ice Center. Her time of 38.24 seconds put her second going into the final pairing.
Kooreman said it would be up to either Bowe or Goetz to decide if they wanted to give up their spot in the 500.
Bowe has specialized in the 1,000 and 1,500 during her career, although she won a silver medal in the 500 at the 2015 World Single Distance Championships. She finished fifth in the 500 at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and was 13th in the event in her 2014 Olympic debut.
Goetz was fifth in the 500 at the 2020 World Single Distance Championships. She is a first-time Olympian.
Neither of them would be as strong a medal contender as Jackson, who remained composed after her shocking slip.
“Erin Jackson is a complete class act,” Kooreman said. “To see this happen to her in particular is heartbreaking.”
Jordan Stolz won the men’s 500 in a track-record 34.55 to qualify for his second Olympic event. The 17-year-old phenom won the 1,000 also in track-record time on Thursday.
“It’s pretty nice to be able to do two of them, especially since they’re two of my best distances,” Stolz said.
His parents are working as volunteers at the trials to be able to watch him in person after spectators were banned because of rising COVID-19 cases.
Austin Kleba finished second in 35.17, although he will have to wait to see if he’ll go to Beijing since the U.S. men only have one quota spot in the event. Final quota reallocations for the Olympics will be done later this month.
“I’ve done everything I could up to now, so whatever the outcome is, I’m happy with my performance for sure,” Kleba said.
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