“I was definitely nervous today,” Lockett said after the race. “I went to make my pass and it didn’t work. I gave up and I tried to squeeze back into the pack but they were very defensive so all that energy was wasted.”
Lockett, who at just 17 is one of the youngest skaters in the field, drew the outside lane for her 1500m heat and was edged to the back of the pack from the outset of the race.
With nine laps to go, Lockett made her move to pass and challenge for the lead, but the pack, lead by Dutch skater Jorien ter Mors, would not allow it.
“Everyone went out and I was stuck on the outside,” Lockett said. “I couldn’t get to the front so I had to go back. I used all my energy and then I started to get panicky.”
A few laps later Lockett made another surge but again the pack was too tight and skating very defensively, forcing Lockett back, along with Belarusian Volha Talayeva.
As ground gained between Lockett and Talayeva and the rest of the skaters, it was all over for the young Aussie.
“I knew it was over for me that race,” she said. “I wasn’t hoping for people to fall over, I just had nothing left and I knew it was over.”
Lockett said that the occasion of the Olympic Games definitely got to her, and that she came out into the race thinking about all the people watching her back home and her parents in the crowd. Unlike a World Cup or other major event, Lockett really felt the nerves.
Lockett also explained that with little racing under her belt since the Olympic qualifications, she was rusty in the competition.
“I haven’t been able to get the practice in and put it all into play over the last few months,” Lockett explained, with racing experience vital to complement training.
Lockett will look to now shake off her disappointment and reset her mind ahead of the women’s 1000m on Tuesday.
The 1500m race was taken out by ter Mors of the Netherlands with Bernadett Heidum of Hungary and Agne Sereikaite of Lithuania also progressing.
Favourites for the event Shim Suk Hee (Korea) and Yang Zhou (China) easily won their heats as did three-time Olympic medallist Arianna Fontana (Italy), Korea’s Cho Ha-Ri and Emily Scott of the USA.
The darling of British skating, Elise Christie, crossed the line up the front of her race, only to find out afterwards that she was disqualified.
"I have no idea what happened,” Christie said. “I did a pretty clean race. I don't know what to say. I'm confused."
Christie, who was also disqualified in the 500m final, is now lacking confidence ahead of her last remaining event.
"I'd like to say I'm looking forward to the 1000m, but I'm struggling," she said.
Another notable disqualification was Russia’s Tatiana Borodulina. After skating for Russia at the Torino 2006 Games and then for Australia at the Vancouver 2010 Games, Borodulina made the switch back to her birth country but has not had a Games to remember so far.
China's Zhou successfully defended her 2010 gold medal taking out a spectacular final.
Zhou was out the front for the whole race and managed to avoid a crash which took down three skaters half way through the race.
Zhou finished in 2 minutes, 19.140 seconds and was followed home by Shim of Korea, who won the silver medal, with 500m silver medallist, Fontana taking bronze.
Alice Wheeler | sochi2014.olympics.com.au