British skaters left devastated by relay failure

16 November 2013 / 12:41

Great Britain's short track speed skating team were left devastated after their failure to qualify either relay team to next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Both quartets will finish outside the overall top eight places when results of this week's World Cup in Russia are added to last weekend's first qualifier in Turin.

Great Britain have never qualified a women's relay team to the Games and were cautious about the hopes for a youthful quartet.

But the failure of the men to make the Games is a major blow, considering they are former world record holders, ranked sixth in the world last season and finished seventh at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

It was little surprise that team member Richard Shoebridge was inconsolable.

"Words don't exist to describe the way I feel right now," he said.

There remains a slim and unlikely hope of still making the Olympics but only if leading nations China and Korea are both disqualified and Kazakhstan and Hungary don't finish in the top five.

Performance director Stuart Horsepool had been critical of performances in Turin, labelling his team 'not sharp enough'.

However, Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne have secured one British quota slot in all three individual events, the 500m, 1000m and 1500m and the pressure is now on others to swell that number for Sochi.

© Sportsbeat 2013