Kathryn Thomson admits it is make or break time as she bids to book an astonishing place on the British short track speed skating team for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
The 17-year-old formed part of the British women’s 3000m relay quartet that set a new national record at the second World Cup of the Olympic season in Seoul on October 4.
It was just Thomson’s second ever World Cup appearance having been fast-tracked into the senior set up following her individual silver at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in February.
Ninth at the World Cup opener in Shanghai, Thomson and the British relay team – which includes fellow Scot and individual Sochi medal hope Elise Christie – were tenth in Seoul despite going faster.
The next two World Cups in Torino and Kolomna are the crucial Olympic qualifiers though with Britain needing to break into the top eight – a situation Thomson is only too aware of.
“We have been getting some pretty good results recently hopefully we can put in another good performance,” said Thomson.
“To qualify we have to come in the top eight in the next two World Cup events so we have got a crucial time coming up.
“We hope to qualify for Sochi – that would be really amazing. It would just be a massive opportunity for us as a relay team.
“It will be the first time I have been part of the relay team on the European stage, it’s a great experience.
“My highlight so far has to be getting on the World Cup races and claiming the British record, that was great and we were all so happy.
“We have not really had much time to celebrate it together though as it was straight back into training.
“I do get a little bit nervous, but once I get on the ice I am OK and just skate. We’ve only been together as a team for under a year but we all get on really well.”
Originally a figure skater, Thomson took up short track eight years ago and moved to Nottingham in the summer of 2012 to concentrate on training full-time with the British team.
And, while her current focus is on the relay, Thomson, whose silver at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival came in the 500m, is looking to continue her progress on all levels.
“I’m the youngest by quite a way on the team, most of the girls are 21 so I am just trying to enjoy it and learn from it,” she added.
“I’m still actually a junior so senior racing is a step up but I’ve got the junior races that I still compete in too.”
© Sportsbeat 2013