Belfast Telegraph

Jenna looks to bounce back from devastation

By Nigel Ringland

The morning after the night before and there was no consoling Jenna McCorkell after the frustration of her disappointing skate in the short programme of the women’s figure skating on Tuesday night.

The Coleraine girl wanted badly to produce her best performance on the biggest sporting stage in the world but in the end her Olympic ambitions in Vancouver ended abruptly, even before the free skate, which she’ll be forced to watch from the sidelines tonight.

Finding the words to explain what happened was tough to find.

“That is the worst skate I have done in the last four years, I am just devastated,” she said.

“I can’t change it and I wish I could.

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

“I have no idea, I felt good in the warm-up and I had a long wait (before competing) so I had time to think, but I am sure I am not the only one, this will take some time to get over.”

She 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 and left Jenna in 29th place with only the top 24 moving on to the second part of the competition.

Had she skated her best and finished where she did she would have been able to accept that — not fulfilling her potential is what she is finding hardest to accept.

“Everything was working so well in practice and in all my competitions all year, my consistency has built up over the season in preparation for this moment,” she added.

“I just don't know what happened, I feel that I have let everyone down.”

Jenna’s coach Yuri Bureiko added: “It was not a good day yesterday. Jenna is an excellent athlete and a pleasure to coach, she works hard, learns from her mistakes and will come back fighting.”

And it’s the future that Jenna will now focus on with her parents, Ainsley and Craig, and husband Kevin who where there to support her at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

Speaking from western Canada last night Ainsley said: “Jenna has worked so hard, this is the first ever senior competition since she was 15-years-old where she hasn't qualified for the free programme, we are gutted for her.

“But it is not the end of the world. Jenna will bounce back and we are extremely proud of her achievements and attaining this level of competition.”

Jenna, who is funded by Sport NI, will now look towards next month's World Championships in Turin as she looks to rebound from her disappointment.

“It is so hard but I have to deal with it now because it is over. I have got to learn from it; that is the way sport goes,” she added.

“I am not the only one to have had this happen to them but that doesn't stop it hurting.

“I am not done yet! I still have the worlds next month and will begin work this summer for four years time and the next Olympics.”

Belfast Telegraph

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