World Cup selection door is still open for British sliders
October 24, 2013 16:53 pm
British skeleton slider Rose McGrandle has been backed to bounce back from her disqualification disappointment at this week's team trials in Altenberg.
Sliders overlooked for the initial British World Cup team could yet book their Olympic places and challenge in Sochi, according to performance director Nigel Laughton.
And McGrandle will still travel with the team - though will have a watching and reconnaissance brief - when they spend a few valuable days training in Russia next month.
Team officials confirmed world champion Shelley Rudman, former world medallist Lizzy Yarnold and Donna Creighton as their three-strong women's team for the opening World Cup in Calgary next month.
Trials winner Ed Smith, along with Dominic Parsons and former world champion Kristan Bromley will make up the men's team.
McGrandle was disqualified for breaching equipment regulations when ranked second, following two of four runs, in Germany.
She will now start the season on the second-tier Intercontinental Cup circuit, which she won two seasons ago, alongside Laura Daes and David Swift.
But Laughton insists a mid-season review in December could yet change the composition of the World Cup team, ahead of final Olympic selections, which will be ratified by the British Olympic Association in late January.
"It was really tough on Rose but it's not insurmountable for her or anyone else," said Laughton.
"She will start the season on the ICC circuit but she's watched others promote themselves through performances there onto the World Cup team.
"We've got three or four World Cup races before the mid-season review and that's a great opportunity to assess where we are with all our athletes.
"Those who didn't make the World Cup team know that the door is still open for them. They've been involved in skeleton long enough to understand how the review works and they are very clear about selection for the Games.
"They need to keep knocking on the door and I'm sure they will."
British sliders will be attempting to qualify up to three quota places for the Olympics at the first seven World Cup races of the season in Calgary, Park City, Lake Placid, Winterberg, St Moritz and Igls.
If last season's results were repeated Britain's men would take a full men's team but the challenge is on to match that for the women - despite winning medals in three consecutive Games, including gold for Amy Williams in 2010, Rudman's silver in Turin and Alex Coomber's bronze at Salt Lake City in 2002.
Only two nations will get three women's places in Sochi and Germany and Canada remain powerhouses, despite Rudman and Yarnold's regular World Cup podiums last season.
"We are relatively confident," added Laughton.
"We're in as good a shape as we can be. We are absolutely were we want to be going into this season and I know we'll be competitive."
© Sportsbeat 2013