sport

King and Kemp look to improve

David King and Stacey Kemp were reflective after their disappointing performance in the Winter Olympic team figure skating event in Sochi.

The pairs duo followed on from Matthew Parr, who was the first competitor on the Iceberg Skating Palace earlier in the evening where, in his men's short programme, he earned a score of 57.40 which left him second-bottom of the 10 competitors.

There was little chance of 10th-ranked 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 for a second skate.

However, when Kemp fell with a thud during their routine - which she put down to nerves - it resulted in a deduction of one point and a disappointing score of 44.7,0 which ultimately left them bottom of the pairs section with one point and the British team bottom overall on three points, making Saturday's competition academic from a Team GB point of view.

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

"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."

Kemp was equally determined to put the disappointment behind her for next week.

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."

Parr was delighted to make history and revealed his performance was inspired by his five-year-old cousin, Ava.

The 23-year-old from Newcastle, who skates out of Dundee, held up a note to the cameras after his performance and afterwards explained: "She wrote me a good luck card when I saw all my family at Christmas - that is the last time I saw them before I went away.

"It meant a lot to me, so I brought it out with me.

"The note said good luck and that she was proud of me and wished me the best, so that was very sweet.

"It couldn't have gone better for me so I am very pleased.

"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 one I will treasure for ever."

Unlike the others, the four-times British champion is only eligible to compete in the team event and his first Games' experience is set to last the length of his short programme - around three minutes.

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."