Squad success inspiring says Weston
Matt Weston says the success of the British Skeleton squad as a whole is spurring him and his team-mates on as they take to the ice in Altenberg for World Cup 5 on Friday.
No fewer than 21 medals have been won by British Skeleton sliders in the first half of the season, with six of those coming from Weston and his colleagues on the World Cup circuit.
The 25-year-old Olympian is responsible for three of those, with bronze in Whistler followed by gold in Park City before bronze again in Winterberg last week, and he admits that seeing everyone else succeed is extra motivation for his own personal ambitions.
“The results across the team definitely spur you on. There have been a lot of medals already this year, not only in World Cup but in all the Europa Cup and the ICC (Intercontinental Cup) races, too” said Weston.
It shows that people are fighting and trying to climb up the ladder and those of us on World Cup already can’t just sit back and relax. We have to constantly be driving to be better than we are already because, otherwise, the guys below us are just going to come and chase us and take our spots.
“It’s really good to see and it’s a good kick up the bum, you could say, to keep driving, keep improving and not settling for what we’ve got now. We’ve had quite a lot of success so far but it’s important that we don’t just settle for that.”
Matt Weston won World Cup gold in Lake Placid
As his for his individual performances, Weston says his disappointment at ‘only’ winning bronze last week is a prime example of the standards now being set within the camp.
The former England youth international in taekwondo was seventh after the first heat in Winterberg but went second fastest in Run 2 to make it three medals from four races.
“I was disappointed with the first run but I was able to go and make a lot of changes and corrections on the second run and climbed quite a few spaces. It showed that all the prep we did before was working if I could just put it all together,” added Weston.
“It was a difficult week with the constant changing weather conditions making it hard to work out what it was going to be like on race day. There’s a lot of improvements to be made from me and what we choose with equipment for next time but third isn’t a bad place to be disappointed with.
I feel like I’m always going to be disappointed if I don’t win a medal now so that is a really nice place to be. I can feel the potential in my sliding, my pushing and, also, the equipment is up there now as well, so I can get used to playing with the big boys.
“It’s a massive change from last year as a squad. It’s now, “ah, we didn’t win a medal or we weren’t top six, that’s frustrating” - that’s a big culture and mindset change.
"How we work together has always been very strong and that’s continuing this year. We’re continuing to help each other learn equipment and find the right lines so the mood in the squad is good and it’s nice that when we do well we get rewarded with medals.”
Weston claimed bronze in Winterberg last week
With Altenberg hosting back-to-back races over the next week, Weston has the chance not only to continue his fine form but to also right some wrongs at a venue where he hasn’t had the success at either World Cup or World Championship level that he’d have liked so far in his short career.
Weston has won a hat-trick of medals on the notoriously tricky track but none of those have yet been at the top tier of competition and he hopes to rectify that this Friday or next.
“I have a lot of unfinished business with this track: there’s been a few times where I have been close to good results but, for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to pull through, so I would like to put a lot of those to bed. I’d like to leave here after both races with a bit more of a positive attitude towards the track, because I really like it, it’s just I’ve never got the results I wanted here.”