Skeleton slider Smith looks to Olympics as World Cup looms

02 December 2014 / 09:52

Ed Smith insists his road to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics starts now after he secured himself a place on Britain’s skeleton squad for the upcoming World Cup season along with Rose McGrandle.

Smith and McGrandle have been in impressive form during the three Inter-Continental Cups so far this season and have earned selection early ahead of the World Cup opener in Lake Placid next week.

Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold heads up the British team as the defending women’s World Cup title-holder, earning pre-selection, while Laura Deas and Dominic Parsons won their places after the selection races.

McGrandle recorded three podium finishes in the first two Inter-Continental Cup rounds, breaking the track record at the first in Lillehammer on the way to overall victory, and was second twice in Koenigssee.

Smith posted two top-ten finishes in his three races and is now awaiting the start of the World Cup season, which will take in Calgary in Canada as well as Lake Placid before New Year, with bated breath.

“I’m really excited to have qualified for the World Cup again this year after a challenging start to the season,” said Smith.

“There will be an interesting dynamic to the sport this year with lots of athletes retiring and new faces on the circuit. I’m looking forward to a fresh start to the new Olympic cycle.”

Donna Creighton and David Swift, who were competing against McGrandle and Smith for the final two World Cup spots, will now remain on the Intercontinental Cup.

And British Skeleton’s performance adviser Andi Schmid said: “It is good to see Ed and Rose coming through with such strong performances at the ICC under the added pressure that having World Cup places at stake brings. We will now focus on that step up to the world cup.”

© Sportsbeat 2014