History-making Australian Harley Windsor and figure skating partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya believe they were underscored after falling short of the medal competition at the Winter Olympic Games.
The pair gave themselves a chance to progress from the short program after skating almost cleanly but their score of 61.55 wasn’t enough for the top-16 cut-off.
They finished 18th of the 22 entrants, well off the 82.39 benchmark set by China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Hang on Wednesday in PyeongChang.
The Australian pair displayed a mixture of delight and relief when they stepped off the ice at Gangneung Arena having landed their throws.
But they were brought down with a slight wobble by Russian born Alexandrovskaya on the second throw.
To Hidden Citizen’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ classic Paint It Black, they nailed their opening element, a triple twist.
Crowned world junior champions last year, the 21-year-old Windsor and 16-year- old Alexandrovskaya were short of their season-best 66.45 which would have qualified them in 13th place.
It prompted bittersweet feelings in knowing their best would have been good enough.
“I thought that we would have got a lot better score than what we did,” Windsor told reporters.
“But it is what it is and there’s nothing we can change about it now. We had the potential quite easily to qualify but (for) just little mistakes and the scores not being what we expected.
“But knowing our best — even not our best — could have qualified us, is a good relief.”
The second to skate, they finished ahead of entrants from Israel, Austria, Japan and hosts South Korea, who slipped on their first throw.
In competing, Windsor became Australia’s first indigenous Winter Olympian. His unique story has been the focus of much media attention in PyeongChang. From modest upbringings in a big western Sydney family, he stumbled across an ice rink a decade ago after getting lost driving with his mother. The medal-deciding free skate will be held on Thursday.