While admitting this season has been somewhat of a slow burner, Dom Parsons is determined to end on a high at next week’s World Skeleton Championships in Winterberg.
Parsons came into the World Cup season in confident mood having recorded a top-ten finish on his Olympic debut in Sochi.
But getting to grips with a new sled as well as a different coaching set-up - which includes Eric Bernotas coming in as head coach - took a little while to get used to.
The turn of the year brought an upturn in fortunes though with Parsons recording back-to-back fourth-place finishes in Koenigssee and St Moritz.
And while a trio of tenth-place finishes then followed as the World Cup season reached it’s conclusion, Parsons remains confident he is heading in the right direction, with consistency starting to come back into his performances.
“I’ve been on new equipment this year and working with a new coach,” he said.
“There have been a lot of new things which we’ve been developing through the season.
“There have been new working relationships and that’s gone pretty well and there’s been a progression of that throughout the season and hopefully that will show in the World Championships.
“I was a little bit inconsistent at the start of the season with getting used to the sled.
“With some runs I’d get good speed out of it and others not so much and that’s been more consistent and getting speed up much more often now through training runs and race runs so there’s still a lot of progression to go there, but it’s going in the right direction.”
The men’s World Skeleton Championships get underway on March 5 with Parsons one of three British sliders in action along with Ed Smith and David Swift.
Smith has also had to contend with his own issues this season, most notably in the form of injuries.
But the 29-year-old slider, whose best result this season was 16th in the season-ending World Cup in Sochi, was grateful to be able to take to the ice again one final time this campaign.
“It’s been a tough season so far, I’ve been carrying injuries from start to finish so it’s been quite tough week in week out trying to compete with some of the best sliders in the world,” he said.
“I haven’t really been fit so it’s been a good opportunity for me to show my strength in coming back each week and still managing to be competitive.
“I’m pleased I’ve been rewarded with another shot at the world champs given everything that I’ve been through this season.”
With Smith struggling with injuries during the season, it gave Swift the chance to shine on the ice.
Overlooked for Sochi and initially not picked for the British World Cup squad this year, he bounced back by winning the men’s Inter-Continental Cup title in the second tier of international competition.
That helped earn the 30-year-old an upgrade to the World Cup squad where he duly recorded the best finish of his career with seventh in Igls, Austria.
And with a first World Championships just around the corner, Swift cannot wait for his special moment.
“It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been in the programme for eight years now and it’s the first world championships for me so I’m pretty happy about it, it’s been a long road,” he said.
“There were a couple of years where I had a strong first half and tailed off in the second half.
“When the results start dropping off you can see on the rankings and work out you’re not going to make it.
“There’s a disappointment that comes with that but that just fuels you to move forward.
“I’ve finally made it so all the hard work becomes worthwhile.”
© Sportsbeat 2015