There was disappointment on the opening night of short track at Beijing 2022 as all three Team GB skaters failed to make it through their heats.
Kathryn Thomson went first in the women’s 500m but fell early after contact with Polish skater Patrycja Maliszewska. It was a frustrating start to the Olympics for the 26-year-old who will be back in action in the 1000m on 9th Feb.
Speaking after the race she said: “I got a really good start but then I felt hands on my legs and the next thing I was on the ground. I'm a bit annoyed that the officials didn't call us back but I need to review that.”
In the men’s 1000m Olympic debutant Niall Treacy kept up with the field, sitting in third for most of the race, before a last lap mistake sent him into the barriers. His dream of becoming an Olympian was realized but he admitted “it wasn’t an ideal end to it”. The 21-year-old now turns his focus to the World Championships in March.
Niall’s older brother Farrell followed in the second heat but made a “heartbreaking” error as he thought he heard the bell and reached out for the line one lap early. Losing all momentum he skated home in fourth. He will get back on the ice to prepare for the 1500m on Wednesday.
All photos credit of TeamGB/David Pearce
Next up Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten will become the first long track speed skaters to represent team GB in 30 years.
The last female speed skater was back in 1980.
Ellia skates in the 1000m on 7th Feb at 08:30 (GMT), with Cornelius featuring in the 1500m on 8th Feb at 10:30 (GMT).