Gilmartin ready to take her chance in Sochi

24 December 2013 / 09:46

British short track speed skater Charlotte Gilmartin saw her Olympic dream dashed by Sarah Lindsay four years ago but now confirmed for Sochi 2014 she’s determined to create some good memories.

Britain will field a five-strong British team for February’s Olympic Winter Games in Russia, Gilmartin having been confirmed alongside Elise Christie, Jack Whelbourne, Richard Shoebridge and Jon Eley.

That is two less than went to Vancouver 2010, with neither a men’s nor women’s relay team qualifying for Sochi 2014, however at least Gilmartin is part of the number this time around.

Christie skated all three individual disciplines, 500m, 1000m and 1500m, in Canada while Lindsay edged the 23-year-old out of the qualifying process by booking a place in the shortest format.

History hasn’t repeated itself nearly four years on and with Gilmartin set to skate in all three she wants to give the best account of herself possible in Sochi and leave content with that.

“I would be pleased if I could just come away with a good performance. So for me that would be getting in the medal zone and being competitive with everyone out there,” said Gilmartin.

“It feels like it is a long time coming, I didn’t qualify last time but I came very close. So it has been more of a six-year run for me than a four-year run, and I am really looking forward to it.

“I have taken a massive step forward in both of the last two seasons. I came close enough last time but at that point I wasn’t ready to go.

“At that point I hadn’t really achieved that much but this time around I have got top-ten results, top sixes, top eights and it is definitely much more exciting and I can compete and not just turn up.”

Indeed Gilmartin won European Championship bronze in the 1500m at the start of 2013 and she admits the differences among the British team from now and when she started aged 15 are vast.

“I have been with the team for seven years and when I first joined it was very minimal. But over that seven years it has changed phenomenally,” she added.

“There is so much more support, having physios whenever we need them and stuff like that. Being able to have that there, you can’t put a price on that, it is great to have that there.

“There are a number of things as well and the whole programme has grown.”

© Sportsbeat 2013