Team GB’s short track speed skaters Jack Burrows (Nottingham) and Aydin Djemal (Epsom) finished seventh and tenth respectively in the 1000m competition at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
Burrows qualified for the A/B semi finals after finishing second in his heat in a time of 1:33.700. In the four-man semi final Burrows was edged out into third place and he finished the competition in a highly credible seventh position.
Djemal was unlucky to finish third in his heat despite breaking the British record for under 16’s with a time of 1:33.582. He fought hard in the C/D semi-finals and final to record a top-ten placing.
Burrows said: “My aim coming here was to try and make it into the top half so this is just a fantastic achievement, I'm absolutely ecstatic. I was caught out a little bit in the B final when the other skaters came up on the inside but this is by far and away the fastest I have ever skated. Aydin (Djemal) and I have been training so hard and he’s managed to break the British U16 record so we’re both delighted. Now we're focused on doing just as well in the 500m event.”
Djemal said: “I was really happy at getting the British record for 1000m, but disappointed that I didn’t qualify for the A/B finals. If I took my chance a little bit earlier I might have made it, but I left it a little bit late so I was tired and didn’t have enough energy to get past on the outside of the other skater. I think I am stronger on the longer distances but I enjoy the shorter 500m race more so I’m looking forward to competing in that. I’m really proud of Jack (Burrows) for making the finals, he’s done really well.”
Team GB’s other athlete in action on day five in Austria was Alpine skier Rachelle Rogers who competed in the giant slalom event. Rogers produced a clean first run to record a time of 1 minute 03.61 seconds, but missed a gate on her second run and therefore did not record a final position.
Rogers said: “Having skied quite well in the build up to today, I was feeling quite positive, maybe overly positive and I came into the first run and made a lot of mistakes. I wasn’t always on the fastest line which really comes back to hurt you when you come into the flatter sections and I ended up 34th. I was pretty disappointed with that because it meant I just missed out on the top 30 who go first in the second run. That meant I had to push quite hard in my second run and I missed a gate about two thirds of the way down, but these things happen. I've still got the slalom to come on Friday, probably my best event so I should get a better bib in the starting order. I want a good training session tomorrow and then I can really attack the slalom as it’s the last event on the schedule.”