ANDREW YOUNG says his fourth Olympics meant more than the rest despite an early team sprint exit ending a disappointing Beijing campaign.

The Huntly star harboured hopes of a push for the final alongside James Clunget in the short-distance event but it ended prematurely in the first round.

The Team GB pair finished tenth in a field of 13 at the semi-final stage and were 56 seconds shy of a top 4 place that would have seen them through to the final.

Clugnet's ski pole broke on the second lap which scuppered their challenge left them with an overall ranking of 20th.

“It was a tough one,” said Clugnet. “I broke the pole when things started getting serious and the pace was going up.

“I used quite a bit of my energy to try and keep up with the group but I didn’t manage to.

“And then I got so tired, and here at altitude, when you get tired, you never recover and I didn’t. We needed to have a perfect race today with everything going our way to qualify.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t give the relay to Andrew in a good position so we couldn’t make it through.”

There was one pyrrhic victory as Young managed to hold off the challenge of minnows Australia in the closing stages.

“That’s a 1-0 victory in the cross-country skiing Ashes I think,” joked Young. “Even if today is not our best performance, we can take that as a positive!”

It has been a bitterly disappointing Games for Britain’s cross-country skiers so far, although Andrew Musgrave has one final chance to impress in Saturday’s 50km event.

Young was relieved to simply have made the start line in Beijing having tested positive for Covid in mid-January, meaning his participation was in doubt right until the last minute.

Sprint specialist Young finished 36th in qualification for the individual sprint and subsequently struggled to recover for the 15km classic, where he placed 51st.

Having made his debut at Vancouver 2010 and achieved some of the nation’s best ever results in the sport, Young saw these Games with new eyes after his virus scare.

“It has been really different to the other ones, partly because I got Covid before the Games and my expectations have been really different,” he said.

“But for me I’ve really just appreciated being a part of Team GB, I think I’m a bit more proud than I was at the other Games. I’ve realised it’s something special to pull on that Team GB race suit, to represent Britain.

“Even if the results haven’t been great, it’s something special to be a part of it and go out there and give it our best.

“And I also think the set-up Team GB have put together this time has been the best of all four. I was really pleased with it, a really good training set-up and sports support.

“It’s just a shame I didn’t go much faster but we know why, I got sick before the Games.”