SKELETON: Decision day looms
9:00am Friday 17th January 2014 in By Owen Houlihan
SHELLEY Rudman hopes her Olympic dream will have come true by this time next week – amid signs the Wiltshire slider is on the road back to top form.
Britain’s skeleton competitors for next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are named next Wednesday (January 22), with Pewsey’s Rudman aiming to reach her third successive Games.
The mum-of-one, 32, would appear to be a near-certainty, having claimed the world championship title last year and cemented a position inside the top three in this year’s FIBT World Cup.
But after battling with a whiplash injury, as well as illness this season, the 2006 Olympic silver medallist will not count her chickens until Team GB chiefs make their announcement next week.
“The athletes will be put forward to the BOA (British Olympic Association) by our federation (British Skeleton) after this race (in Igls, Austria, this weekend),’’ she told the Gazette & Herald.
“It would be absolutely amazing if I am on the list of athletes.’’
Rudman delivered a timely reminder of her abilities by claiming her first podium finish of the World Cup season at her favourite track, St Moritz in Switzerland, last weekend.
The Wiltshire woman, who lifted the world title at the venue last February, broke the track record in her second run, a time later overhauled by winner Noelle Pikus-Pace of the USA, with series leader Lizzy Yarnold, of Great Britain, second.
“I was hoping that by returning to the St Moritz track, it would allow me to try and get back into the rhythm of sliding again,’’ she added.
“I was also starting to get my energy levels back. Fortunately things started to come together in St Moritz which was really nice as it’s my favourite track. I’m still getting into full race mode.’’
Britain’s women have won a skeleton medal at every Games since the sport became a permanent part of the Olympic programme in 2002.
Follow Shelley’s progress in Igls this weekend, plus news of the Olympic announcement at gazetteandherald.co.uk/ sport and in next week’s Gazette & Herald