WINTER OLYMPICS - Treacy brothers endure disastrous opener at Beijing 2022 Games - The Stratford Observer
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15th Aug, 2022

WINTER OLYMPICS - Treacy brothers endure disastrous opener at Beijing 2022 Games

TEAM GB short track brothers Niall and Farrell Treacy saw their hopes in the 1000m end in the space of just 45 minutes.

The Henley-in-Arden born brothers must have done something really terrible to those vengeful Olympic Gods in a previous life.

Niall crashed out on his Olympic debut whilst Farrell came home last after losing count of the laps and sprinting too early at Capitol Indoor Stadium.

Britain’s three-time world champion Elise Christie, whose troubles at the last two Games were well publicised, 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.

As they say, that’s short track – a sport in which, at the Olympics at least, Britain rarely seems to get the rub of the green.

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.

Farrell said: “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.

“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.”

Farrell had moved to Salt Lake City in Utah to make his final preparations with the US team, working with their respected head coach Stephen Gough.

However, he will now reset his focus on the 1500m next week, though his younger sibling’s Olympic experience is over.

Farrell added: “I only came out on Tuesday and I’m just glad to be here. I have a couple more days to try and figure things out and get over the jet lag.

“I made a really big error and to do that on this stage is heart-breaking. I thought I heard the bell, I thought it was a lap to go and I’ve gone to the line early.

“It’s never happened before so to happen at the Olympic Games is not fantastic. I don’t know if it’s a massive lapse of judgement or there was something that I heard – but even the bell came quite late.

“Normally, it comes as you’re coming out of the corner but that’s on me.”

Niall, 21, insists he will learn from the mistakes of his first race on the world stage and is already thinking of four year’s time in Milano Cortina.

Niall’s career on the ice is financially supported by Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid.

Niall said: “Going onto the ice and knowing that I’d become an Olympian is a dream that I’ve had ever since I started short track.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t ideal end to it.

“It was a fast race and I felt like I was in quite a nice position, sitting behind the Dutch and the Koreans. Those two nations are powerhouses in the world of short track. I was happy to mix it with them but disappointed with how it finished.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more.

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