SOLIHULL speed skater Jon Eley has vowed to deliver in the coming days at the Winter Olympics after setting a new personal best in the 1000m.
The 25-year-old opened up his second Olympic campaign at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver by finishing third in a new best time of 1:25.588minutes after being drawn in heat one.
But with only the top two qualifying for the quarter-finals, Eley missed out by little under two tenths of a second to Canada’s Charles Hamelin and Dutchman Sjinke Knegt.
Eley’s spirits were dampened further in the 5000m relay as he failed to guide the British team of himself, Tom Iveson, Jack Whelbourne and Anthony Douglas out of the heats.
“The 1000m provided me with a great chance to get out there and see what I can do and I am now confident and looking forward to the 500m,” said Eley, who finished fifth in the 500m four years ago in Turin.
“I am not ranked too well in the 1000m and I am happy with how I performed and you can’t argue with a new personal best at an Olympics Games.
“The relay was tough however and it was far from our perfect race. It was a sprint the whole way, we all went out there and put a big effort in but it just wasn’t enough.”
Fellow Solihull flyer Iveson - who joined Eley in the relay - followed the two-time Olympian’s lead in the 1000m and also crashed out during the heats.
The 26-year-old finished fourth in heat four in a time of 1:27.841minutes but admitted he is just happy to be an Olympian after waiting for eight years.
“It was disappointing not to make it any further but it just feels good to be in Vancouver competing,” said Iveson. “It feels great to have finally made an Olympics Games and it has been a really overwhelming experience so far.”
* Lloyds TSB is a proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to Vancouver 2010.