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Fairfield's Kristen Santos falls short in the women's 1000m short track final

After finishing first in the semi-finals, Santos crashed in the finals and she finished fourth.

BEIJING, China — Kristen Santos still remains without a medal after crashing in the women's 1,000-meter short track final on Friday.

Santos, who was less than two laps from making it onto the podium, collided with Italy's Arianna Fontana in the final. She had been sitting in third place when the crash knocked her to fourth.

Fontana, a 10-time Olympic medalist, was penalized for the collision and awarded fifth.

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"Of course the situation – for lack of a better word, it sucks," the 27-year-old Santos said after the race, according to USA Today. "But like I said, it's part of the sport. It sucks. But I'm not mad at anyone. Just sad."

Credit: AP
Kristen Santos of the United States, and Arianna Fontana of Italy, crash in the final of the women's 1000-meters during the short track speedskating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

The Fairfield native told reporters after the race that there are no hard feelings toward Fontana and called the outcome "heartbreaking."

"She is the nicest person in the entire world," Santos said, according to USA Today. "She's such an impressive skater. No bad blood there at all."

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Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands has defended her title in the race, after setting the world and Olympic record of 1:26.514 in the quarterfinals.

 Choi Minjeong of South Korea took silver. Hanne Desmet of Belgium earned bronze.

Fontana was chasing an 11th career medal, having already won two medals in Beijing.

Santos came in first in the semi-final event that allowed her to race in the finals. She had the fastest time in the semifinals at 1 minute, 26.783 seconds.

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Santos still has a chance to come home with hardware at the women's 1500-meter short track event on Wednesday.

"I'll definitely have to give myself the night to be upset," Santos said, according to USA Today. "But in the back of my mind, I also have to be proud of myself at the same time. And know that, while the situation was unfortunate, I know I can podium. I know that I'm here, and I can be a medal contender."

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ddashefsky@fox61.com.

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