Jenna books her spot for Sochi

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JENNA McCorkell’s performance at the recent World Championships in Canada secured her place at next year’s Winter Olympics in Russia.

The Coleraine skater finished 20th overall in London, Canada, but more importantly is secured her place for Sochi 2014.

“It was an exciting World Championships and I’m extremely excited to have qualified for the Winter Olympics next year,” said Jenna before leaving Canada.

Having seen Team GB’s summer athletes have their time in the sun at the London 2012 Olympics, Jenna insists it is time the winter ones followed in their footsteps.

The opening ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is now less than a year away and all eyes will be on the British team in Russia as they look to carry on the feel-good factor.

McCorkell battled through injury to claim her tenth ladies’ title at the British Championships in December and last month chose to compete at the European Championships where she placed 21st.

The 26-year-old will be appearing at her second Winter Olympics, having competed at Vancouver 2010 finishing 29th.

And McCorkell admitted that she will be doing all she can to build on Britain’s success at London 2012, where they won 65 medals including 29 golds, if she takes to the ice in Russia next year.

“I am so excited that the Sochi Olympics are just a year away,” she said. “It is no time at all really and it feels like just yesterday that we were in Sheffield for the 2012 Europeans.

“It has been on my mind for some time now. Vancouver was an amazing experience and I think your first Olympics will always stick with you but every Olympics is special and to do two will be amazing.

“Having seen what went on in the summer I was gripped like everyone else but at the same time you missed not being a part of it.

“So hopefully we can build on our summer success in Sochi and give Britain something to be proud of when it comes to winter sports too.”

McCorkell began her season in style as she became a ten-time British champion back in December although she skated through a torn abductor muscle to achieve the feat.

That meant the 26-year-old could only finish 21st a month later at the European Championships in Croatia, her worst-ever finish at the competition.

“The injury meant that the whole month and the first half of December I didn’t practice at all which meant I wasn’t where I wanted to be for the Europeans,” said McCorkell, who finished 29th at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“In fact I regret going to the Europeans because even though I felt physically ready I wasn’t anywhere near there mentally. Physically I felt fine but it was the fact that I had not trained properly and it was playing on the back of my mind.

“I didn’t jump in training for four weeks and three days and that is the longest I had ever gone without doing that and I was torturing myself with that in my mind as I went out on the ice at the Europeans.

“So for that reason I really regret going and having that score on my record because I know I can get much better results than that.”