SKELETON: Selection boost for Shelley
PEWSEY'S world champion Shelley Rudman has been pre-selected for the British Skeleton World Cup squad for the start of the 2013/14 season.
Rudman, the 2006 Winter Olympic silver medallist, will not have to contest the British World Cup squad selection races in Altenberg, Germany, next week after British chiefs decided her consistency merited her discretionary pick for all the World Cup races up to the midway point of the season.
It is a boost for the 32 year old ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, allowing her to focus fully on the start of the World Cup campaign and preparations for the Games in February.
British Skeleton Performance Director Nigel Laughton said: “Our experience from the Turin and Vancouver Games has shown that for certain athletes, pre-selection can be hugely beneficial, allowing them to plan and prepare their peaking strategies more effectively.
"Given Shelley’s consistency and world class performances, including her World Championship win earlier this year, we felt it important to give her the flexibility for the season.”
Rudman added: “I’m really pleased I have been given the opportunity to fully focus on my preparation going into this season and in particular ahead of the international training week in Sochi and the first World Cup race in Calgary at the end of November.
"Working with my coaching team, we determined that it will enable me to phase my preparation and be in the best possible shape for when it matters this season.”
The British Skeleton team has qualified three men’s and three women’s quota places for the World Cup circuit this year.
Following Rudman pre-selection, the remaining two women’s places and three men’s places will be determined by the selection committee following the results of the Altenberg selection races.
Lizzy Yarnold, Donna Creighton and Rose McGrandle are the leading contenders for the two remaining World Cup slots as the British team fight to win enough points to secure three places at the Sochi Games.
Meanwhile Rudman's partner Kristan Bromley will lead the fight for one of three places on the men's World Cup circuit, with those missing out competing instead in the Intercontinental Cup prior to the mid-season review in December.
The quota places for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be determined by athlete’s individual FIBT World Ranking, after the seventh World Cup race in Igls, Austria, on January 18.
Nations (three for men and two for women) with the three highest ranked athletes will qualify for the full three quota places for the Games.
British selections for Sochi 2014 will take place the week following the confirmation of quota places.
MORE ON THIS STORY IN NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD
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