SKELETON BOB: Clock is ticking
SHELLEY Rudman faces an anxious finale to her winter campaign as she battles to ensure her momentum towards next year’s Olympics in Russia is not derailed.
Pewsey slider Rudman is chasing top performances in the final two rounds of the FIBT World Cup series and next week’s World Championships to keep her level of Lottery funding as high as possible for next season.
The 31-year-old, who was crowned World Cup champion for the first time last year, is attempting to rediscover top form after being struck down by a chest infection and flu over Christmas.
Rudman (pictured) was seventh in round seven of the World Cup at Konigssee in Germany last week, an improvement on her 16th place in Altenberg the previous week when she climbed off her sick bed to compete.
But the Wiltshire slider needs to improve on her overall seventh spot or face the potentially savage blow of a cut in funding.
“I still have to get another top six result to remain on funding or that will be suspended so the clock is ticking,’’ she told the Gazette & Herald ahead of this week’s World Cup meeting at Igls, Austria.
“(Travelling) out to Altenberg I assumed I was coming through it, but when I arrived I went down with a fever of 38.8 and full-on flu and was in bed for three days.
“I raced but I was there mainly to pick up any points possible. I’ve got through the worst now.’’ After Igls, Rudman goes to St Moritz in Switzerland for next week’s World Championships – a title she has never won – before the final World Cup round at the 2014 Olympic venue of Sochi.