Speed Skating - Eley hoping it's third time lucky in Sochi

Jon Eley believes it could be third-time lucky with the short track speed skater adamant he is hitting form just at the right time ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Short Track - Britain's Eley wants a medal to go with his flagbearer honour
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Jon Eley from Britain skates during the 500m men's final at the short track speed skating world cup in Quebec City

The 29-year-old was one of five short track speed skaters named to represent Team GB in Russia next month, the third time Eley will strut his stuff at a Winter Games.

Eley's Olympic journey started in Turin where he crossed the line fifth at his specialist 500m distance, before finishing one place further back in Vancouver four years later.

Since the last Olympics Eley's best form came in the 2011/12 season where he claimed World Cup gold over 500m in Salt Lake City and won bronze over the same distance at the European Championships.

And while his 2012/13 form has seen him struggle to repeat these feats – his highest individual finish a fifth in Montreal – Eley is confident he is timing his assault on Sochi to perfection.

"Since the last Olympics, we've had that world relay record and I've won a few medals individually to get myself quite a high ranking but the last year I've not been my best, because of a few injuries and other setbacks," said Eley, who was part of Great Britain’s men’s 5000m relay squad who set a world record in the 2010/11 season.

"The results haven't shown it, but I feel like I'm skating at my best now. And the next few weeks can really make a difference in training and build confidence up to go to Sochi with a realistic chance.

"The sport now is that close compared to what it was when I first went to the Olympics. If you're good enough you can come home with whatever you want on the day.

"Qualifying for the Games was difficult. There were a lot of good people there and it was the most difficult I can remember.

"But I think once you're there you've got a chance. Every one of the 32 skaters on that line to start will be thinking they've got a chance.

"It's going to be tough, it doesn't matter if you're the favourite, you could still come away with nothing.

"Charles Hamlyn (Canada) is perhaps still the favourite as he has done well at World Cups and there will be a few others who are all going to be fighting it out.

"But anything can happen at this level so you've got to be amongst it to take advantage and I aim to do just that. I've got experience and nous and hopefully this Olympics will be third time lucky for me and the team."

© Sportsbeat 2014

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