Beijing 2022: Kilmarnock speed skating ace Kathryn Thomson falls just 15 seconds into Winter Olympics opener


Kilmarnock’s Kathryn Thomson was left rueing her luck after the first event of her Winter Olympic campaign lasted fewer than 15 seconds.

Team GB speedster Thomson made her Games debut four years ago in PyeongChang, South Korea but didn’t progress beyond the heats in any of her events.

She lowered the colors of three-time world champion Elise Christie in the team trials last year but her 500m heat in Beijing was a blink and you’ll miss it affair – crashing in the very first lap.

Thomson, who also competes in the 1000m and 1500m, admitted frustration her race wasn’t restarted after spinning into the hoardings and pounding the ice in frustration.

This sport is often compared to human dodgem cars – here in China, the luckless Brits were taking bumps and knocks from all sides.

“I don’t think I made 15 seconds before I hit the ice,” Thomson said, “that’s really frustrating as I was looking forward to that race.

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“I got a really good start but then I felt hands on my legs and the next thing I was on the ground. I’m a bit annoyed that the officials didn’t call us back but I need to review that.

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“I was hoping to build on my events through the Games but I’ve still got two really good opportunities to see what I can do.”

British short track stars must have done something really terrible to those vengeful Olympic Gods in a previous life.

Three-time world champion Christie, whose troubles at the last two Games have been well publicized, is watching back at home.

But her former team-mates have clearly walked under the same ladder, broken a mirror and opened an umbrella indoors.

In the space of just 45 minutes, Thomson’s team-mates Niall and Farrell Treacy also saw their hopes in the 1000m ended at Capitol Indoor Stadium – crashing and then miscounting the laps respectively.

However, you had to feel doubly sorry for the unfortunate Farrell who revealed his Olympic involvement had been hanging in the balance after a positive Covid test in mid-January.

“I tested positive before I came out and with all the Covid protocols in China it was looking very unlikely that I’d be here,” he said.

“I was having tests every day to get negatives and the anxiety was crazy. The protocols were ever changing and one day I was told, ‘sorry it’s not going to happen’ but that next day that changed.

“Ten days of isolation, when I couldn’t get on the ice, is not ideal when you’ve got a Games coming up.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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