VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- South Korea came out on top Saturday in the newest rivalry in the Winter Olympics, South Korean vs. the United States in short-track speed skating.
The Koreans, however, could not completely stop the man they love to beat the most -- the one who is now the most decorated American athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics.
The competition is always spiced when it is Canada vs. Russia in hockey, Norway vs. Sweden in cross-country skiing or Austria vs. anybody in the alpine events. Now there is South Korea vs. the United States in short-track skating. Or, to be specific, South Korea vs. Apolo Anton Ohno.
Ohno has become a hated figure in South Korea because of real or imagined transgressions in a series of key races during the past decade. The rivalry was only intensified earlier in the Olympics when two Koreans collided and fell near the end of the 1,500-meter race, allowing Ohno to win the silver medal.
In an apparent attempt at diverting blame from their own skaters, South Korean officials accused Ohno of shoving in that race.
They were at it again Saturday, with Ohno not only having to battle two Koreans in the finals of the 1,000-meter race, but also having to deal with brothers from Canada.
Ohno looked to be in perfect position to win the race with three laps to go, but he suffered what seemed to be only a slight slip. It was enough to rob him of momentum, however, and he suddenly found himself in last place in a field of five.
Ohno was able to pass both the Canadians, but had to settle for the bronze medal behind Koreans Jung-Su Lee and Ho-Suk Lee. That medal, however, was the seventh of Ohno's Olympic career -- more than any other American has ever won at a Winter Olympics. He passed speed skater Bonnie Blair for the honor.
"I had moved into prime position and I thought the race was mine," Ohno said. "Then I made one bad slip and I lost so much speed."
South Korea also won a silver and bronze medal in the women's short-track 1,500-meter final, which was won by China's Zhou Yang.
For the first time in four days, the United States did not claim the most medals around the Olympics. The Americans wound up with one fewer than the Koreans.
Downhill gold medal winner Lindsey Vonn won a bronze in the super-giant slalom and 1,000-meter speed skating champion Shani Davis settled for the silver in the 1,500-meter event.
The Americans were still in front of the medal chase, however, with six golds and 23 overall. Germany is second with 14 overall.
Ski jumper Simon Ammann of Switzerland, Austria's Andrea Fischbacher in the super-giant slalom, Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands in the speed skating race and Marcus Hellner of Sweden in the cross-country pursuit all won gold medals Saturday.
Ammann swept the ski jumping individual gold medals for the second time in his career, having also done so in Salt Lake City. He has won more Olympics golds than any other ski jumper and has also won more gold medals than any other Swiss athlete in Olympic history.