McCorkell claims 11th national title and looks to Olympics
December 1, 2013 20:47 pm
Jenna McCorkell could hardly contain her Olympic excitement after winning a record 11th consecutive British figure skating title in Sheffield.
The 27-year-old recorded a season best score of 142.88 as she eased to victory but she acknowledges tougher tasks lie ahead at next January's European Championships and then one month later in Sochi.
“I can’t wait for next year now. I’ve approached the season with a totally different outlook this time,” said McCorkell, who finished a disappointing 29th in her Olympic debut in Vancouver, after a fall during her short programme.
“I’m in a better place mentally and physically now. Before the last Games I was ill and I didn’t have the best preparation. I’d also been plagued with foot injuries but since then I’ve had all that resolved and things have been better.
“To win 11 British titles is quite unique. It’s amazing and obviously I’m excited about it.”
Elsewhere there was a third British title for ice dancers Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland, who also finished comfortably clear of their nearest British rivals scoring 147.10.
“I think we skated the best we’ve done so far this season,” said Coomes, who finished 20th with Buckland in Vancouver.
“We always use the British Championships as a stepping stone towards the European Championships and then the Olympics but it’s always good to skate well in front of a British crowd.
“Competing for my country at the Olympic Games was one of the best experiences of my life, so do it again would be amazing.
"Your first Olympics is often about the experience but we've got high hopes for Sochi. Finishing in the top eight is not unrealistic but we have a lot of things to sort out first."
McCorkell, Coomes and Buckland hope to receive their official Team GB call-up in January, as indeed do pairs skaters Stacey Kemp and David King, despite finishing second in Sheffield.
The pair, who got engaged at the during the closing ceremony in Vancouver, suffered a time violation for finishing behind their music after Kemp fell and then stumbled out of a triple axel.
It meant Oman-born Amani Fancy and Christopher Boyadji, who switched nationality from France earlier this year, denied them the national title for the first time in 2002.
“We were looking at the wider picture, we’ve got an Olympics coming up,” said King.
“To improve as athletes we had to stick with our game plan and that meant a lot more risk in our routine. We didn’t realise it would cost us the British title but we had to take that sacrifice.
“We’ve got to look at where we want to peak and we want to peak at Sochi. Sometimes you’ve got to take that so you can improve later on."
© Sportsbeat 2013