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Christie looks for European medal - but Sochi is the focus

January 14, 2014 11:03 am

Short track speed skater Elise Christie is looking to add to her medal collection at this week's European Championships - but insists Sochi is her only real focus.

Christie won the European 1500m title in Malmo last year and will also be looking to medal in her 1000m signature event, in which she finished last season ranked number one in the world.

It will be her first competition since the final Olympic qualifier in November and her last event before arriving for her second Olympic appearance in Russia.

“Everything we’ve been doing has been geared towards the Olympics and although I’d like to medal in Dresden," said Christie, a world bronze medallist last season.

"However, I’m more focussed on putting in some good tactical races and preparing myself for next month, because the Games are my main goal.”

Nine British skaters will travel to Germany, including all five selected for the British Olympic team.

Former European champion Jack Whelbourne will be joined by 2006 Olympic finalist Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge and Sochi team-mate Charlotte Gilmartin.

Paul Stanley, Alex Stanley, Kathryn Thomson and Joshua Cheetham complete the squad.

“The athletes have put in a hard block of training since the last World Cup in November and they are eager to race this week," said British performance director Stuart Horsepool.

"It’s less than a month until several of those competing at Dresden will represent Team GB in Sochi and their training has obviously been focused on the Games.

“Because of this we expect the squad to be at their physical peak in February, not at the European’s this week, so the main aim in Dresden is for them to get race practice to allow them to hone their skills ahead of Sochi, to ensure that they are sharp and race ready come Games time.”

 © Sportsbeat 2014

Main image: Michael Poole