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Mixed results for Australia at the Short Track

20 February 2017

SHORT TRACK: There were mixed results for Australia's short track speed skaters on day one of competition at the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games.

The Aussies looked the goods early with Deanna Lockett comfortably advancing to the semi-finals in the women's 1,500m while Alex Bryant, Pierre Boda and Keanu Blunden also progressed to the semi-finals in the men’s event.

Boda and Bryant made it through to the men’s B Final where they finished fifth and sixth respectively, but Lockett and Blunden’s day ended with disqualification after each athlete experienced a racing incident in their semi-final.

“We were fighting to get in the final and it was the last lap so we were fighting hard and I got the penalty in the end,” Lockett said of the incident she had with a Chinese competitor.

Although she was disappointed to bow out early Lockett was able to take away a positive from the race.

“I’m not happy with what happened but I’m happy with how I raced. I was more aggressive than usual and that’s what I need to do in short track,” she said.

Meanwhile the Australian men’s 5,000 metre relay team ended the day on a positive note, placing second in their heat, progressing to the semi-finals. The Aussies crossed the line ahead of India and finished second to Korea.

The team was spearheaded by Sochi Olympian Pierre Boda who had to take a conservative approach to racing after a fall in practice on Sunday.

“I was just trying to stay out of trouble today and it kind of worked out in the end so I was happy,” Boda said.

“I was trying to get my feeling back on the ice and skate nicely and relaxed. I managed to get an ok result.”

The 23-year-old is planning to pick up the pace as the meet goes on.

“I’ve woken up a bit more and I’m firing a bit harder after today’s relay and hopefully the next round everything is on,” Doda said.

Short Track speed skaters will be back in action on Tuesday with the men’s and women’s 500 and men’s semi-final relay.

Full results and live streaming of the Asian Winter Games is available on the Sapporo 17 website.

Michelle Cook
olympics.com.au

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