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Jenna McCorkell: I’m devastated by Olympic slip-up

Figure skater Jenna McCorkell said she is "devastated" after her “worst skate in four years” ended her Olympic hopes.

The Coleraine girl had her medal dreams dashed when she fell during the qualifying round in Vancouver.

It proved to be a costly mistake, with the 23-year-old crashing out of the competition after coming second last.

“I am just so devastated by what happened,” she said.

“I can’t change anything now, but I wish I could.

“I have had a great experience here but I am just so mad at what I did.”

The seven-times British champion added: “That was the worst I have skated in four years — and I have no idea why. I felt good in the warm-up.

“This will take some time to get over.”

Plucky Jenna tried her best to fight back the tears after the performance that saw her take a hard tumble after failing to land a triple lutz and double toeloop.

From then on the routine never recovered and her score of 40.64 was well below her personal best of 53.80 set just last month in the European Championships in |Estonia.

“Everything was working so well in practice . . . I feel that I have let everyone down,” she said.

Those sentiments are certainly not shared in Jenna’s home town.

Mayor of Coleraine Sandy Gilkinson said the Belgian-based girl had done the borough proud.

“Everyone here is delighted that Jenna made it to the Olympics,” the DUP man said.

“Our hearts go out to her after what happened. I’m sure she’s devastated, but she needn’t be. She will always be a hero to us.”

The skater’s parents, Craig and Ainsley, as well as her husband, Belgian international Kevin Van der Perren, were rink-side after her crushing disappointment.

Jenna, who is funded by Sport NI, is the most successful female skater to hail from Northern Ireland — and the first to make the Winter Games.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph