SHELLEY Rudman returns to the scene of one of her greatest career triumphs this weekend, convinced she remains on the right track to qualify for her third successive Winter Olympic Games.
The Pewsey slider competes in the latest round of the FIBT World Cup series in St Moritz, Switzerland – the site of the 32-year-old’s World Championship triumph 11 months ago.
While Great Britain compatriot Lizzy Yarnold has captured the headlines this season, winning three of the five World Cup rounds to date, 2006 Winter Olympic silver medallist Rudman’s progress has been steadier, ranked third overall without reaching a podium.
Injuries and illness have taken their toll in the early stages of the season, but with under a month until the Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia, the Wiltshire competitor is satisfied with her progress.
“I think I am in a really good position, and if I can start really connecting and make another jump in my performances I will be very happy,’’ she told the Gazette & Herald.
“I'm currently ranked third in the world, so I’m very pleased given that I’m not quite in race form just yet.”
Rudman suffered a whiplash injury during training in Calgary in November, a bout of food poisoning and a chest infection other unwelcome distractions.
“I just seem to have a few things happen this season which have slightly disrupted my preparations, such as suffering from whiplash in the first World Cup training which I have been managing since, and then the recent illnesses,’’ she added.
“Given these factors I’m very happy to be in the position I am currently in. It’s always nice to be on the podium, but at the moment my main focus is to try and get myself back to full fitness and qualify for Sochi.
“If I (get on the) podium at any stage it would be a nice bonus.”
Follow Shelley’s progress in St Moritz at gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport this weekend
See Shelley and mum Josie talk about her career, as part of her role as an ambassador for P&G’s Thank You Mum campaign. Click on the related link in this story
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