British short track speed skating performance director Stuart Horsepool has confirmed Jack Whelbourne will skate in the 1000m heats – and he’ll be holding his breath while he watches.
Whelbourne suffered an ankle injury in the 1500m final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Monday when a marker got caught under his skate and he fell to the ice
It wasn’t as bad as first feared, just extremely sore, and he will take to the ice for the second day of the short track competition with the 1000m heats to be held.
Regardless of the injury, Whelbourne has been drawn in the same fifth heat as Charles Hamelin, who won the 1500m in Sochi, and 500m world champion Liang Wenhao of China.
Only the first two in the four-strong race advance automatically to the quarter-finals with Whelbourne to be worked on right up until his heat and allowed to pull out late.
And performance director Horsepool admits that no matter what happens British physiotherapist Mike Brownlow has done an incredible job in simply getting Whelbourne on the ice.
"He's going to take to the line. He won't obviously be 100 per cent. But you know, the competition environment, the Olympic environment can do strange things. His ankle is still extremely sore,” he said.
"My honest gut feeling is that he won't be that competitive. He won't be the skater he was three or four days ago, that's definite. The physio Mike is doing an amazing job even to get this far.
“We did everything we possibly can do. We're a little bit conscious as well that he's got the 500m later on in the Games. So we have to be extremely careful that he doesn't go in and do extra damage. It's a little bit suck and see really."
© Sportsbeat 2014