Coomes confident of mixing it with the best at Euros

28 January 2015 / 11:37

Penny Coomes is confident her and Nick Buckland can go toe-to-toe with Europe’s best figure skaters as they prepare to kick off their European Championships campaign in Stockholm, Sweden.

The British pair finished tenth on their second Olympic Games appearance in Sochi last year – an improvement of ten places from Vancouver in 2010.

That progression has continued this season with the duo winning the 2014 International Cup of Nice and NRW Trophy before getting their hands on the first Grand Prix medal of their career when they finished third at the 2014 Rostelecom Cup.

It all leaves them full of confidence as they attempt to improve on the bronze they won at last year’s European Championships in Budapest in the build up to Sochi.

They open their campaign with the short dance routine later on Wednesday, alongside fellow Brits Olivia Smart and Joseph Buckland, and Coomes admitted they were approaching things differently this time around.

“That medal (European bronze) was a little bit of a surprise," Coomes told BBC Sport.

"Last year I went into the Euros questioning 'am I good enough?'

"This year we have a different mentality that we're just as good as everyone else.

"We train harder, better and smarter than ever. And we've got two of the strongest routines we've ever had so that's helped us a lot.

"But also, just the longer you're around for, the more you mature you become.

"What I've learned over the last few years is if I go into a competition knowing I've put absolutely everything into my training then I don't feel the same amount of nerves and pressure."

It’s been more than 30 years since Great Britain last won an Olympics ice dancing gold medal with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean tasting success at Sarajevo 1984 before adding a bronze ten years later.

And Coomes is determined she and Buckland will be challenging for medals at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018.

“The year after the Winter Olympics is a huge season to establish yourself as one of the top teams for the four years to the next Games," she added.

"This season we really want to prove that we are in contention to be the top two in the world.

"And we've looked around and no one is doing anything on the ice we can't or won't do.

"We've always talked about how we want to medal in Pyeongchang but this year we've got our heads down and stopped talking about it."

© Sportsbeat 2015