Kemp falls hurts British hopes

Andover Advertiser: Stacey Kemp falls as she and David King of Britain compete in the figure skating team event (AP) Stacey Kemp falls as she and David King of Britain compete in the figure skating team event (AP)

Stacey Kemp admitted nerves played a part in her fall at the Iceberg Skating Palace which surely ended Great Britain's involvement in the inaugural Winter Olympic team skating event.

Kemp and her partner and fiance, David King, followed on from Matthew Parr, who was the first competitor on the Sochi ice earlier in the evening, where he recorded a score of 57.40 in his short programme to leave him second bottom of the 10 male competitors.

There was little chance of Britain - whose team also includes Jenna McCorkell and ice dance pair, Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes, who will skate on Saturday - finishing in the top five teams who will qualify.

Kemp fell with a thud during their routine, which led to a deduction of one point and a disappointing score of 44.70, but she is determined to bounce back in the pairs next week.

Afterwards she said: "There are a few things that we need to improve on for the next one, like the throw, obviously.

"I don't think I have missed one since we have been here or for the last few weeks.

"It is one of those things, with nerves and pressure and everything.

"You don't want to fall ever but the next focus is the next competition and hopefully we can improve on that."

King said: "We have a lot of work to do this next week before we compete in the individual event and hope to improve and get the start we were missing.

"In this event you can be living on a knife edge and be off balance and that is five or 10 points.

"Sunday is our rest day so we have got a few more days to get back at it and see what we can figure out."

Parr described his first Olympic outing as a "cathartic" experience.

The 23-year-old from Newcastle was also Britain's first men's contestant since Steven Cousins' appearance at Nagano 1998, and he said: "It was excellent.

"It couldn't have gone better for me. My aim going out there was to get a season's best or a personal best and I achieved that, so I am very pleased.

"There was a lot building up. This is what I have been aiming to do since I was a kid, so I had to get myself in the right mind-set.

"It was quite cathartic and in the end it was nice to finish with a performance I am proud of, and I can look back in years and think that I did as well as I could do.

"To be an Olympian is everything I ever wanted as an athlete, so to finally say I have competed at the Olympic Games is a very proud moment and I will treasure for ever."

Unlike his team-mates, four-times British champion Parr is only eligible to compete in the team event, meaning his first Games' experience will effectively be over before the official opening ceremony.

However, Parr said: "Obviously I would like to skate again, there is no doubt about that.

"But, either way, I am proud of my performance today and I am going to enjoy supporting not only the figure skaters, but the entire British team."

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