Two-time Olympian Eley hoping three’s a charm in Sochi
February 15, 2013 10:28 am
Sochi 2014 Team GB hopeful
He vowed to be back after Turin 2006 and he vowed to be back after Vancouver 2010 now Jon Eley is less than a year away from seeing if he can be.
While five Brits were making their third Olympic appearance in Vancouver three years ago, short track speed skater Eley was among those making their second.
He has offered promise at both Games he’s attended placing fifth in the 500m in Turin in 2006 while he also ranked 17th in the 1000m and 13th in the 1500m.
Eley also raced three events in Vancouver four years later, swapping the 1500m for the 5000m relay but it was again the 500m where his best chance lie.
He again impressed but missed out on the A final and finished third in the B final, ranking sixth overall following Apolo Ohno disqualification in the medal race.
That was a placing matched by Eley and the British men’s 5000m relay team, they too missing out on the A final before winning the B final against Germany.
The British relay team set a world record in Germany in February 2011 while since Vancouver Eley has placed sixth again in the 500m at World Championships the same year.
On the World Cup circuit the season after Eley took 500m gold and relay silver in Salt Lake City and 500m silver and relay bronze three rounds later in Shanghai.
He claimed European bronze in the 500m in the Czech Republic too, while this year medals may not have come, but he has still been in the mix in the right places.
Eley was fifth in the 500m at the Montreal World Cup and then sixth and seventh in the two races over the distance at the Olympic test event in Sochi.
British female Elise Christie may have enjoyed a season in which she has won the World Cup 1000m title and double European gold but Eley’s confident too.
“In the four years between Turin and Vancouver I settled for natural progression and the difference now is that I’ve learned from that and I know there are a few extra things I need to push on with,” Eley said at the start of the season.
"I need to almost get out of my comfort zone and take a few risks in these four years to get from that consistent top eight placing into the medal zone.
“I need to use my experience and my ability to get to the final every time, and give me the chance to earn the luck.
“Sochi is going to be my best chance of coming home with a medal and there is more than one chance.
“We are such a strong team now that we can put more emphasis on the relay, where we have proved we can compete against the very best teams in the world.”
© Sportsbeat 2013