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Williams advice kept McGrandle focused on Sochi dream

December 20, 2013 15:36 pm

Wise words from Olympic champion Amy Williams inspired skeleton slider Rose McGrandle not to give up on her Sochi dream.

McGrandle was left devastated after an equipment infringement during the team trials cost her a place on the World Cup squad.

But a series of impressive performances on the second tier Intercontinental Cup circuit - three podiums from four races, including two golds and two track records - have earned her a promotion.

She will now join team-mates Lizzy Yarnold and Shelley Rudman, ranked one and two in the world, in Winterburg next month with the aim of qualifying a third British quota place for Sochi her sole ambition.

"Amy is a great comforter," said McGrandle. 

"She was really lovely and gave me some great advice just to keep going. It was a real blow but she put things in perspective and I knew that if I started performing on the Intercontinental Cup circuit I still had a glimmer of hope.

"Essentially it (the disqualification) was my responsibility. I can't point the finger at anyone. It was unlucky but I've got new procedures in place to avoid doing that in the future. 

"Hopefully it will make athletes more aware of sled equipment and make us more stringent so we don't let it happen again.

"I've got another chance now and I'm going to give it my best shot."

Two countries will be allowed to take three women sliders to the Olympics with Great Britain currently ranked fourth in the nation standings, although only a handful of points behind Russia and Canada, with Germany leading the pack.

"Obviously the Olympics are around the corner but I've got to concentrate on each race," added McGrandle. 

"At the moment I just have to look at getting as many points as possible from each race. I'm aware of where I stand but the points system just is not in my control. 

"I just have to do my best on each track and that's all I can ask. But I feel like I'm in a really good place and I've been really consistent this season."

McGrandle's determination not to let her selection disappointment define her season came as no surprise to the man who had to deliver the bad news of her disqualification.

"She's done amazingly well but it's not a bolt from the blue," said British Skeleton performance director Nigel Laughton. 

"We've known what she is capable of doing and she is continuing to deliver on her promise. She has matured considerably in the last few years.

"Like all the athletes, she knows the selection policies and she accepted it. I know it was a huge disappointment to her but she has showed great character since that. She has come back and delivered and that is a testament to her."

© Sportsbeat 2013