American Scott advances to 1,500 final

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Emily Scott of the United States was able to earn a spot in the final race of the women's short track 1,500 meters Saturday at the Sochi Olympics after it was ruled she was interfered with by South Korea's Cho Ha-Ri.

Scott finished fifth out of six skaters in the third of three semifinal heats at Iceberg Skating Palace, but officials advanced her to Saturday's final race when it was ruled Cho had interfered with the American while the skaters were coming around a turn.

Li Jianrou, who won gold in the 500 on Thursday, won the third heat to make the final. South Korea's Kim Alang finished second to earn a trip to the medal race.

Reigning gold medalist Zhou Yang of China won her heat with a time of 2 minutes, 18.825 seconds to finish ahead of South Korean Shim Suk Hee. Canada's Marie-Eve Drolet was third in the heat and finished .550 seconds out of a berth in the final.

U.S. skater Jessica Smith placed fourth in the first heat and was eliminated from medal contention.

Italy's Arianna Fontana, a two-time Olympic medalist, won the second heat with a time of 2:19.336. Fontana took bronze in the 500 at the 2010 Games and grabbed a silver at the same distance earlier in Sochi. Dutch skater Jorien Ter Mors earned the other spot in the final from Heat 2.

China and South Korea have won eight of the nine Olympic medals awarded in the women's 1,500-meter race since its debut in 2002, including the last six.