Eley doesn’t like loss but he's shaping up nicely for 500m

13 February 2014 / 17:13

He didn’t like the losing part but Jon Eley was pleased to brush away the cobwebs as his third Winter Olympic campaign gets serious in Sochi.

Eley was one of three British short track speed skaters in the 1000m heats however he didn’t get past that round, finishing fourth despite a fast start.

But, with his preferred 500m still to come next week in Sochi, Eley insists he’ll take plenty from the outing no matter how brief it was.

“It was a good run out, a good taste of the atmosphere and good to learn a bit more about the ice in the competition environment but it is always disappointing to get beat,” he said.

“Carrying the flag feels like a long time ago now. I just keep ticking over the training maybe have a day off, recover from this and then switch the mind to the 500m.”

Richard Shoebridge also placed fourth in his 1000m heat and his Olympic debut is now over – although he insists he won’t forget it.

“It was alright, it was a lot different than I was expecting. The crowd was phenomenal, especially racing against a home crowd favourite – that added a little bit more pressure on the top of that,” he said.

“It didn’t go as good as I would have expected or could have wanted but it was a pretty aggressive race. I got my skate kicked halfway through the race, which isn’t great to begin with but it was fun.”

Jack Whelbourne, who’s carrying an ankle injury suffered during the final of the 1500m, was the best of the three Brits in the 1000m.

He missed out on advancing by the width of his blade to Eduardo Alvarez and was upbeat despite struggling with his injury.

“It was pretty tough, I think that level of racing would have been tough no matter the result of what I have done previously,” he said.

“I have been off the ice since the A final. I have been a bit flat, I have been coughing so I definitely felt it, but I put out the best performance I could.

“The guy [Eduardo Alvarez] knew I was weak on my right foot and he just tried to hold me on the outside and that takes a lot of pressure to keep me there.

“It was either me or him who was going to qualify and this time it was him.”

And Charlotte Gilmartin has vowed to return stronger after getting no further than the quarter-final stage in the ladies’ 500m.

 “I was slightly disappointed not to be able to doing anything in the race but my weakness has always been my start and I have been trying to work on that,” she said.

“I wasn’t with them from the beginning and they are some of the fastest girls in the world. It is too much to be able to catch up when they get ahead.

“So I was a bit disappointed but I gave it everything I had.”

© Sportsbeat 2014