Eley just happy to be racing as he progresses in Sochi

19 February 2014 / 06:45

Jon Eley claimed he doesn't care who he is racing after putting his Olympic campaign back on track in Sochi.

Eley, appearing at his third Olympics, was downbeat after a disappointing performance over 1000m but was all smiles after a solid qualifying performance in his preferred 500m sprint event.

The 29-year old advanced to Friday's quarter-finals with a comfortable second place, finishing just behind Russian favourite Victor An.

An is something of a controversial figure in the short track world having won three golds in 2006 as Ahn Hyun-Soo before switching allegiance from Korea in 2011.

He has already struck 1000m gold here but Ely has no problems with his involvement, despite those who question it.

"It's just good to get the best people on the ice, I love the competition to be as tough as possible at the Olympics, that is what it's all about," he said.

"We're out here to race, I don't care who I race against as long as they are the very best skaters and that's Victor."

Eley now faces the prospect of three races in just a few hours later this week, if he is to repeat his Olympic final appearance from eight years ago in Turin.

And he insists confidence is high after putting aside last week's nervous first skate.

"I've been waiting for a while to get out there to put that behind me," he added.

"I made a good start, I tucked in behind the Russian and I'm very pleased with how the tactics worked out, the key was staying out of trouble, getting into that top two and progressing.

"I'm under no illusions about how tough it's going to be but there is nothing wrong with my form and if the luck goes my way, who knows?

"We're used to racing three races a day on our normal circuit but it's so different here. I raced last Thursday, had one race then and now I don't race again until Friday, when I might have three races in a couple of hours.

"It's going to be tough, everyone is skating at the very top of their game. Russia is powerful and the Chinese squad is incredibly strong. But mistakes happen, we've just seen Canada's Charles Hamelin, who won the gold four years ago, fall over."

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