Winter Olympics 2014: Team GB medal hope Jack Whelbourne crashes out of 1500m speed skating final

22-year-old appeared to suffer an ankle injury that could put his participation in the 500m and 1000m into doubt

Sochi

Jack Whelbourne endured a painful start to his Olympic Games. Having overachieved in reaching the final of the short-track speed skating 1500m – the first Britain ever to do so – Whelbourne was sent sprawling across the ice after tripping over one of the blocks that mark the course around the rink in the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Whelbourne, the boyfriend of Elise Christie, a medal prospect in the women’s events, slithered into the cushioned barriers as the remaining six finalists swept on round the course. He limped back to his feet and tried at least to complete the race, only to be ushered to the sidelines by an official.

An X-ray revealed no fracture and he will take a late decision as to whether to compete in the 1000m on Thursday.

“I was hoping to do a little better than I did but I got a British record in the first race and I managed to get a win under my belt,” said Whelbourne. “Unfortunately, a block got under my foot, which has given me a twisted ankle. It can be quite common in the sport. The blocks move. This time it happened to me, unfortunately when I was in my best form.”

Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin both qualified for Thursday’s quarter-finals of the 500m. Christie, the only British woman to have ever won a World Championships medal, impressed in what is not her strongest event as she won her heat.

There was encouraging news for Lizzy Yarnold, the favourite to win the skeleton. In her first practice run she finished quickest, in her second she was fourth-fastest. It maintains the fine form she showed in first practice last week. Shelley Rudman was 15th and 16th. The four skeleton runs are divided across Thursday and Friday nights.

There was no record-breaking medal last night for Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. The Norwegian biathlete was chasing a 13th Olympic medal, a tally that would leave him alone as the most decorated Winter Olympian (swimmer Michael Phelps with 22 has the most from any Olympics). Bjoerndalen currently shares the honour with his compatriot Bjorn Daehlie after claiming gold in the 10km sprint on Saturday. He came close on Monday, finishing outside the medals by 1.7sec in the 12.5km pursuit. It is likely to have only delayed his coronation as Norway are strong favourites in both relays.

The flamboyant Julia Mancuso is already the most decorated female US skier and added another medal, her fourth, although as in Vancouver four years ago she was beaten by Maria Höfl-Riesch in the super combined. Mancuso, whose form this season had been so poor she took a break from the sport over Christmas, flew through the downhill section to earn a lead of more than a second over Höfl-Riesch.

But the German dramatically overturned the deficit in the slalom. Mancuso finished 0.17sec behind and was beaten to the silver by Austria’s Nicole Hosp. Britain’s Chemmy Alcott was 16th in the downhill section and then withdrew – she wanted to use it as a dry run for tomorrow’s downhill.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics rally to defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
News
John Cleese is promoting his new book
people
News
A-list actresses such as Deepika Padukone get paid a tenth of what their male counterparts make per film
news
News
The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
TV
News
Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
peopleUS footballer said he had hoped Michael Sam and Jason Collins coming out might have helped
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game