Great Britain’s men’s short track speed skating relay team may have fallen to third on the historical world record list last season but Richard Shoebridge believes they are never far away from further success.
The British quartet of Shoebridge, Jon Eley, Paul Stanley and Jack Whelbourne set a new 5000m relay world record of 6:37.877minutes on the way to victory in the B final at the final World Cup of the 2010-11 season in Dresden.
That record stood proudly for almost ten months before Korea clocked 6:35.884 at the Shanghai World Cup in December 2011 with Canada lowering the mark even further the season just gone.
Canada took almost five seconds off the time set by Korea, posting 6:30.958 on home ice in Calgary at the opening World Cup round of the 2012-13 season in October.
Shoebridge, who has joint British and Canadian citizenship and competes for GB, believes that mark is misleading with his view that the ice in Calgary is by far the fastest than anywhere else in the world.
Canada won the 5000m relay world title in Debrecen in March with Britain placing sixth overall but Shoebridge believes they can more than challenge for medals and records with nine months to go until the Olympics in Sochi.
“The world record was a really special race for us but when it got broken last year it was on the fastest ice in the world in Calgary,” said Shoebridge.
“It’s proven time and time again that it is just far superior to any other ice rink in the world.
“In that weekend I think six world records were broken, the rest of the year none were broken and nobody even came close to that relay time.
“It’s nice being able to know that we can skate that fast when necessary, we are able to compete with the fastest teams in the world.
“It does just come down to strategy and tactics in the race, so if we get it right on the day then anything is possible.
“Result always have a part to play on training focuses for the next year but with us it’s more that we need to push on and progress.
“I think we’re going in the right direction, we just need to progress a little bit more and focus on the main goal of the Olympics.”
© Sportsbeat 2013