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2018 Winter Olympics Update – For those who are fretting over U.S. short track speedskater Maame Biney’s disappointing showing in PyeongChang, South Korea, you can stop now.

The 18-year-old phenom from suburban Washington, D.C., the first black woman to make the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating team, won a gold medal in the 500-meter sSaturday at the World Junior Short Track Championships in Tomaszow Mazowieckei, Poland.

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“This is a huge boost from the Olympics since I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Biney said. “This means that I’m really ready for the World Cup stage and can continue to get better.”

With a time of 44:305 seconds, the Ghanaian-born Biney became only the third U.S. woman to ever medal at a junior event. Her gold medal Saturday is the first junior gold medal for Team USA since J.R. Celski won the men’s 500m in 2009.

“It feels really good,” Biney said of Saturday’s victory. “I felt like I really deserved it today and I’m really happy. I just raced my race and made sure not to overestimate anyone.”

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Biney’s gold medal will go with a bronze medal that she won at the 2016-17 world junior championships.

She had a disappointing performance at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, finishing fourth in a four-person quarterfinal 500-meter heat with a time of 44.77 seconds.

Maame Biney, front row left, and members of the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating team in PyeongChang (Photo/US Speedskating).

“It’s okay. I’ll be fine,” a tearful Biney said at the time. “I just have to wait four more year to be able to get back into this big stage. I can’t wait till those four years.”

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