Path to PyeongChang: 81 days to go
Cross Country Skiing

Path to PyeongChang: 81 days to go

20 November 2017 / 12:43

History makers and record breakers were on display for Great Britain this weekend as Team GB hopefuls staked their claim for a spot at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Just 81 days remain until next year’s excitement, with qualification hopes and World Cup medals up for grabs as the countdown continues.

Each Monday we will look back at what British athletes have been getting up to during the last week and who to keep an eye on over the coming seven days.

Hall on the mark in Park City

After Lake Placid last weekend and Whistler next, Park City was the second stop on the bobsleigh World Cup tour and saw a first British medal for four years as Bradley Hall piloted Great Britain’s four-man team to bronze.

Leading after the first run, they slipped back a couple of places but still came away with a medal having only finished 22nd in Friday’s first race of the double header.

And Hall was not alone in the top ten as Lamin Deen backed up his eighth place in Friday’s race with a sixth on Saturday – much to the delight of GB Bobsleigh head coach Lee Johnston.

“I genuinely believe this is a true reflection of how this team is,” he said.

“We have some of the best athletes in the world; we have two top drivers who are providing competition for each other; the mood is excellent and there is a great camaraderie in the camp.

“We had an awful day on Friday in terms of Brad missing the cut in the first race of the weekend so for him and his crew to bounce back says a huge amount about their character.”

The women’s racing also saw a 13th-place finish for Mica McNeill and Mica Moore, in the two-woman bob.

Christie back with a bang

Following two months of struggling with a thigh injury, three-time world champion Elise Christie won her first short track World Cup of the season in Seoul, South Korea.

The world record holder skated to victory in the 500m and was relieved to be back on the podium in the final World Cup of the season.

“It’s nice to know when I’m not at my best I can still win, especially in the 500m because it’s my favourite. It was a really nice boost,” said the Scot.

“I’m not injured now so all I have to do is go home and train hard, get my fitness back.”

With Seoul being the final World Cup of the season, Christie will have been boosted by a seventh place in the 1500m and making the A final of the 1000m.

Consistency the key for Deas

Laura Deas moved up to third in the overall skeleton World Cup with another top five placing.

After fifth in Lake Placid the previous weekend, Deas matched that in Park City as Elena Nikitina took gold ahead of Germany’s Tina Hermann and Jacqueline Loelling.

Reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold came home eighth to make it two Brits in the top ten as 17-year-old Ashleigh Pittaway put in another strong showing to finish 21st.

While in the men’s event Dom Parsons was the top performing British slider, finishing 20th with Jeremy Rice and Jack Thomas in 24th and 25th respectively.

Musgrave warms up for World Cup

AndrewMusgrave - Getty

With the cross country World Cup yet to get underway, Andrew Musgrave warmed up for this coming weekend with the FIS event in Beitostoelen, Norway.

In the 15km freestyle he just missed out on the podium, finishing less than seven seconds off third place before coming home eighth in the 15km classic.

Curlers make strong start to continental championships

Teams Muirhead and Smith both made promising starts to their respective European Championship campaigns over the weekend.

Kyle Smith skipped the men’s rink to three wins from their opening three matches, beating Italy, Austria and Russia.

While Eve Muirhead won two out of her first three fixtures, with wins over Russia and Denmark, but last year’s bronze medal-winning rink suffered a loss to Sweden.

The week ahead

Team Muirhead - European Curling Champs -

The European Curling Championships continue in St Gallen this week, with the semi-finals beginning on Thursday and the medals being decided on Friday and Saturday.

Next weekend also sees the first ski slopestyle World Cup of the season in Stubai, Austria, a snowboard big air in Beijing and a cross country skiing World Cup in Ruka, Finland.

Back on the ice Britain’s sliders continue their whistle stop tour of North America with a World Cup in Whistler, Canada.

With men’s and women’s skeleton, as well as bobsleigh, on the schedule, will there be more medals in the offing for Great Britain?

Sportsbeat 2017

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