Disappointed Coomes and Buckland vow to put it right
February 8, 2014 16:16 pm
Penny Coomes admitted it was a struggle to hide her feelings after a disappointing start to her Olympic campaign with ice dance partner Nick Buckland in Sochi.
Coomes and Buckland looked to have produced a solid routine, winning over fans at the Iceberg Skating Palace and earning enthusiastic applause from coach and two-time Olympic champion Evgeny Platov.
But the British pair were penalised for their technical elements, scoring 52.93, well down on the 61.76 score that helped them win bronze at the recent European Championships.
It placed them seventh out of ten couples in the team skating ice dance short programme - meaning there is work to do before the individual competition later in the Games.
"We don't practice looking that disappointed," said Coomes.
"The scores were a surprise and it's hard to hide. We can't pretend to be happy but we've got time to right it and I'm certain we'll get the job done.
"We've got time to fix things. We've had these problems before and maybe the judges are being a bit stricter. We are very focussed and passionate people and we'll put the work in now because we're here to do well.
"It's disappointing but there is no way we'll let it happen again."
With only Jenna McCorkell still to skate in the team event, Great Britain are ranked ninth overall with the top five nations advancing to Sunday's free skate to contest the medals.
In a glimpse of the challenge to come, American world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White top scored with 75.98, just ahead of Canadian defending champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and home hopes Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev.
But Buckland is hopeful of closing that points gap, as the British champions look to secure a top ten finish in the individual event - with their long-term focus making the podium in 2018.
"We lost some marks for an extended lift, you get six seconds and we were slightly over time. We have a piece of music that we lift up and put down on and I think I started the move a bit too soon," he said.
"It's the technical score where we lost marks and we don't really know what the issues are yet. We'll go away and look at the marks but we can see what we've done wrong now and fix them for the individual.
"We shook the nerves off and I didn't think we did a bad job."
© Sportsbeat 2014