Speed skating: Gooch fails to make final

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The Independent Online
NICKY GOOCH, attempting to improve on his first-day performance of fifth in the 1500 metres final in the world short- track championships, yesterday failed to qualify for the 500m final at the Guildford Spectrum, writes Cathy Gibb.

Gooch, in one of his weakest distances despite winning an Olympic bronze medal, looked left for dead in the quarter- finals but managed to catch up. Lying in third position his path was impeded by Italy's Orazio Sagone, who was disqualified for cross-tracking. That allowed Gooch into the semi-finals.

Gooch then came up against Canada's Derrick Campbell, South Korea's Kim Ki-hoon and Martin Johansson, of Sweden, and produced an unorthodox triple spin when attempting to gain his balance. He fell but got to his feet to finish fourth.

In the final, the Canadian pair of Frederic Blackburn and Campbell took the gold and silver, with Kim taking the bronze.

Britain's other representative, Debbie Palmer, again failed to qualify for the heats, this time in the 500m, finishing third.

To make matters worse for Britain, they failed to qualify for today's relay final after a misunderstanding between Wilf O'Reilly and his teammates left him skating the final two laps alone.

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