British Olympic short track relay hopes suffer setback
November 9, 2013 09:29 am
Great Britain's hope of qualifying two short track relay teams for next year's Sochi Olympics have suffered an initial blow.
This week's World Cup in Turin is the first of two Olympic qualifiers with performances combined with results from next weekend's event in Russia to decide all-important quota places.
Only eight teams will line up for the relays at the Olympics but both Britain's men's and women's team failed to progress through their heat in Italy, settling for ninth overall.
Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne advanced to the quarter-finals in the sport's three individual distances - 500m, 1000m and 1500m.
And elsewhere Paul Stanley and former Olympic finalist Jon Eley reached the last 16 in the men's 500m and 1000m respectively.
However, qualifying relay teams opens up extra places at the Games which otherwise will not be available.
"The relay didn't go according to plan, but we're not out of it," said British performance director Stuart Horsepool told the BBC.
"The relay is the one that gets the ticket to the Games for a lot of athletes in the team."
© Sportsbeat 2013