WYOG 2012: Burrows and Djemal shine bright in Innsbruck
SHORT track speed skaters Jack Burrows and Aydin Djemal were the stars of the show on an otherwise quiet Wednesday for the Great Britain team at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innbsruck.
ON THE CHARGE: Jack Burrows produced his best form when it counted most in Innsbruck (Brad Askew)
With only alpine skier Rachelle Rogers competing in the morning session, all eyes were on Burrows and Djemal as they took to the ice in the evening for the men's 1000m competition.
And the two youngsters did not disappoint as Burrows produced the best performance of his fledgling career to finish seventh overall while Djemal was not far behind in tenth.
An impressive quarter final showing from Burrows set himself up in the top half of the draw and despite failing to make the medal race he still had enough left in the tank to claim third in the B final.
And Burrows admitted that a top ten finish was more than he could have dreamed of coming into the games in the Austrian Tyrol.
"My aim coming in was to try and make it into the top half so this is just a fantastic achievement, I'm absolutely ecstatic," he said.
"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 and I just wasn't prepared for it.
"Aydin (Djemal) and I have been training so hard and he's managed to break the British U16 record in his quarter-final so we're both delighted. Now we're focused on doing just as well in the 500m."
Both Burrows and Djemal, whose time of 1:33.582minutes in his quarter-final broke the national U16 record, don't have much time to recover before the men's 500m gets underway on Thursday morning.
But Djemal insisted there was still plenty to come from both him and his training partner when the shorter event begins.
"Both of us prefer the longer distance but we are improving all the time and this is a fantastic experience so hopefully we can do even better tomorrow, I'm looking forward to it," he said.
It was less good news for Team GB over in Patscherkofel however as Rachelle Rogers missed a gate in her second run in the giant slalom to rule herself out of overall contention.
And the 16-year-old admitted afterwards that a little bit of overconfidence might have been the cause of her problems in the event.
"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," she said.
"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.
"And 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, now I'm just looking forward to the slalom on Friday, my best event."
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values.www.olympics.org.uk
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