Jack Whelbourne has formed an integral part of Britain’s men’s short track speed skating relay team since 2009 and he’s determined to prove they’re once again among the very best at the World Championships.
The 21-year-old will compete solely in the men’s 5000m relay at the World Championships, which begin in Debrecen on Friday, joining forces with two-time Olympian Jon Eley, Paul Stanley and Richard Shoebridge.
The exact same quartet set a new world record of 6:37.877minutes at the Dresden World Cup in February 2011 while the month before they won a second successive European bronze medal with Anthony Douglas racing instead of Shoebridge.
Whelbourne, Eley, Stanley and Shoebridge followed that up with World Cup silver and bronze in Salt Lake City and Shanghai respectively last season although their world record was first beaten by Korea that campaign and now Canada this term.
Britain finished sixth in the men’s 5000m relay for the third World Championships running last year and have a best of fourth three times this season on the World Cup circuit ahead of the semi-finals heats on Saturday.
And Whelbourne, who suffered a slight hamstring niggle at the start of the season, is determined to deliver a performance when the stakes are at their highest at the World Championships in Debrecen.
“I trained through the last few World Cups ready for the World Championships,” said Whelbourne, who competed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics before winning the world junior 1000m title a year later.
“The World Cups are important but the World Championships are the most important. Coming off Vancouver it was a surprise for me.
“Before that was my first senior season, I was still a junior, and I went to the junior worlds and made a big improvement and came away with a title in the 1000m and was second overall.
“That was a pretty strong showing and then we set the world record in the relay and we have had success throughout the years since.
“The guys are on the way up and we are looking for a good result and what better time to perform than the World Championships.”
© Sportsbeat 2013