Williams focused on worlds

Tue, 25 Jan 17:02:00 2011

Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams has every intention of defending her title at Sochi 2014 but first she wants a shot at the World Championships in Koenigssee, Germany next month.

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The 28-year-old is yet to secure an FIBT World Cup victory despite becoming Great Britain's first individual Winter Olympic champion for 30 years last February.

The skeleton slider clearly saves herself for the big stage however, having scooped world silver in 2009 in Lake Placid but after delaying her start to the season Williams faces a race against time to book her place in Koenigssee.

Winter Olympic champions are few and far between in Great Britain and as a result Williams was in demand upon her return from Vancouver - media appearances became ten a penny for GB's golden girl.

As a result her break from the ice was extended and Williams freely admitted she had not rediscovered the fire in her belly for the sport amid rumours she was flirting with the idea of hanging up her sled [Arthur] for good.

Williams denies such claims however and while she admits she considered taking the whole year off, she made a somewhat rusty return to competition earlier this month in Igls, Austria, placing 12th.

Last weekend, signs of improvements were evident however and she came home fifth in the Winterberg World Cup which earned her a European bronze medal.

Williams is currently ranked 40th in the overall rankings, and has three Brits above her including 2006 Olympic silver medallist Shelley Rudman who is second, and so she has work to do in the coming World Cups in St Moritz and Cesana if she take on the world's finest in Germany.

 "It's been a little bit difficult coming back onto the ice and it has taken a bit of time to used to the sliding," admitted Williams.

"But I am slowly getting back into it and I luckily got a good result at the weekend. 

"That [last weekend] was a real confidence boost for me because after my first race I was quite disappointed.

"It was good to know that I am still up there with the best despite the fact that I am so far behind in my training and in general I wasn't expecting it at all.

"I need to be getting a couple of good results in the next two races starting this week in St Moritz if I am going to qualify for the World Championships.

"And so I am going to try and do my very best and battle for my position because even though at the start of the season I didn't expect to be there I really hope I can get to go.

"If I can perform like I did last week there is no reason why I couldn't do enough to go."

Williams is understandably under the microscope as she eases herself back into competition and acknowledges there's a target on her back with all her rivals now gunning for the scalp of the Olympic champion.

But with Sochi 2014 still more than three years away, Williams is convinced she will be at the top of her game when she defends her title.

"I don't see it that coming back to defend my crown in 2014 would be harder now because of what I have done before," added Williams.

"I can see how people think it could be because people are expecting you to defend it and everyone thinks you are going to win every race.

"But every race is different and every track is different so there so skeleton can't really work like that.  Every year is a different year and you might perform on one track one year and then the ice might be different on there the next time. 

"I hope that I can win more medals in the World Cups and in the events between now and Sochi and then go there and bring back a medal.

"We have a lot of new and up and coming talent coming through but I very much want to go to another Olympics and go to Sochi."

More than the Games / Eurosport

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