TURIN, Italy - Ahn Hyun-soo led South Korea to its sixth gold medal in eight short-track speedskating events, winning the 5,000-meter relay in an Olympic record time Saturday night.
Canada took silver and the United States, with Apolo Anton Ohno, bronze. With a burst at the end, Ohno passed an Italian skater to grab bronze for the Americans in the 5,000 relay.
Ohno closed it out for the U.S., blowing past Nicola Rodigari and gliding across the line; it was the fifth Olympic medal of his career.
The soul-patched American was one of the most feted athletes at the Salt Lake City Games, where he won a gold and a silver in thrilling races.
At Turin, Ohno got off to a shaky start, failing to qualify for the final of the 1,500 and settling for bronze in the 1,000. He was in danger of falling into the category of high-profile Americans who appeared to be falling short of expectations.
Three new medals make him just the fourth U.S. Winter Olympian to win that many in a single games. He joins long-track speedskaters Eric Heiden, Sheila Young and Chad Hedrick, the brash Texan who joined this exclusive little club a day earlier.
In a spectacular race to end the tournament, Canada and South Korea exchanged the lead several times over the 45-lap race on the tight skating rink. The Canadians and South Koreans even briefly stumbled into each other with barely two laps to go.
That left the work to Ahn.
Confident under pressure, he took back the lead from Canada’s Mathieu Turcotte. He crossed the line in a time of 6 minutes, 43.376 seconds and with a rare show of celebration.
Ahn pumped his fists, high-fived his teammates and joined them on their knees. They then bowed to the Korean fans in the stands. Barely showing expression on other occasions, Ahn was all smiles. It was his third gold of these games. He also won a bronze, finishing third to Ohno in the 500 meters earlier Saturday.
This was a two-team race after the midpoint, with the Americans vying with the Italian hosts for bronze.
Check out the best images from the 2006 Winter Olympics.