Sochi 2014: Jack Whelbourne falls in 1500m short track final

By Ollie WilliamsBBC Olympic sports reporter in Sochi

Britain's Jack Whelbourne crashed and injured himself in the 1500m short track speed skating final at Sochi 2014 but hopes to skate on through the pain.

The 22-year-old had defied his world ranking to reach the final but twisted his ankle mid-race and did not finish.

"It's very sore but hopefully I'll be OK for the other two distances," the Nottingham skater told BBC Sport.

Canada's Charles Hamelin won the race ahead of China's Han Tianyu as Viktor Ahn won bronze for hosts Russia.

Ahn won three gold medals and a bronze at the Turin Games eight years ago while competing for South Korea as Ahn Hyun-soo, but switched nationality to Russia and changed his name before competing in Sochi.

Earlier on Monday, British duo Elise Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin came safely through their 500m heats to reach Thursday's quarter-finals.

Whelbourne had created history as the first Briton to reach an Olympic 1500m short track final.

But, having raced a perfect semi-final to reach the showdown for gold, he rolled his ankle on a black rubber block - used to mark the course - which had become dislodged. "It can be quite common in the sport," he said.

Team GB officials later said Whelbourne had been taken for a precautionary x-ray of his right ankle, which revealed no fracture.

"Whelbourne will now be monitored further in the coming days, when a decision will be made as to his ability to compete in further events," read a statement.

"I'm going to be OK for it no matter what," said Whelbourne immediately after his race, referring to Thursday's next races over the 1000m distance.

"I've got another two Olympic distances to skate and, whether or not I'll be at my best, I'll give it a go.

"That's the best I've raced. Some of those guys we had to go through to get to the final could have been on the podium right now. Maybe I could have been, if luck had fallen my way a little bit."

Whelbourne had entered the final ranked 26th in the world. Hamelin, the victor, added 1500m gold in Sochi to the two gold medals he won at Vancouver 2010 as he bids for a four-medal haul over the next two weeks.

Whelbourne's coach, Lillehammer 1994 bronze medallist Nicky Gooch, said: "We don't know what is wrong. Maybe he'll put some ice on it, he'll be sore tomorrow and he'll be good in a couple of days.

"He was in a good position, racing well and looking strong and he was trying to move himself up a little bit when a block got under his skate. It was out of his control."

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