Skeleton name experienced World Championship squad
Great Britain Skeleton today selected a four-strong squad for next week’s World Championships as they look to keep up their proud traditions on the global stage.
The London offices of title sponsor JLT Speciality provided the backdrop for Performance Director Andi Schmid to announce that Donna Creighton, Laura Deas, Dom Parsons and David Swift will all represent GB in Igls, Austria, in the biggest event of the sliding year.
Deas heads to Innsbruck ranked No4 in the world and having already claimed gold and bronze medals on the World Cup circuit so far this season. The 27-year-old former professional event rider was seventh in last year’s World Championships in Winterberg and will be aiming to impress on the same global stage that Shelley Rudman won gold in 2013 and Lizzy Yarnold followed suit last season.
Parsons was also seventh last season and has been inside the top 10 five times in seven races so far this term. The 28-year-old Londoner, who is studying for a PHD in mechanical engineering at the University of Bath, is currently the sixth best male slider in the world and will be aiming to push for a podium place in his third World Championship outing.
Creighton is ranked 14th in the world, has featured at three previous World Championships and won last year’s Intercontinental Cup crown, as did Swift, who claimed his maiden senior career gold on the Europa Cup circuit in St Moritz a fortnight ago and was a Junior World silver medalist in Igls back in 2008.
“We have selected an experienced squad who all know what it takes to compete at the very top level and I have no doubt that they will do their country proud,” said GB Skeleton Performance Director, Andi Schmid.
“Laura has medalled twice this year and we hope she will be challenging again in Igls and Dom has shown real consistency to be ranked in the top six heading into the event.
“Donna has also been consistent on her return to the World Cup circuit and has lots of experience of the World Championships, while Swifty showed his potential in St Moritz and will hope to take that momentum on to a track where he had success in the past.
We have always said that this year is about ensuring we keep on making progress in the lead up to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018 and I’m confident we will do that on a track we know could favour some of our athletes.
“Igls is known as a ‘starters track’, meaning that a quick push can have a major impact on your run as a whole. We have worked incredibly hard on this aspect of our performance and we hope to see the benefit of that over the coming fortnight.”
The World Championships begin this coming Friday when women’s bobsleigh kicks off proceedings at 3.45pm GMT. The first involvement for the skeleton squad comes this Sunday afternoon in the team event, with the individual races taking place the following week.
The men’s skeleton starts at 8.45am on Thursday, February 18 and concludes on Friday 19 at 2.30pm, with the women’s event scheduled for 8.45am on Friday 19 and the same time on Saturday 20.