Ice skater Jenna McCorkelldetermined to savour Sochi experience

Jenna McCorkell
Jenna McCorkell

Coleraine’s Jenna McCorkell will make her first appearance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Saturday when she competes for Great Britain in figure skating’s team event.

It’s the second experience of an Olympics for the 27-year-old.

Four years ago in Vancouver she failed to perform to her own high expectations, finishing 29th overall, well below her best performances at both World and European level where she has finished as high as 14th.

Domestically McCorkell has been untouched for over a decade with 11 British titles and she is hoping to bring that level of consistency to her stay in Russia.

“I’m trying not to look back. Obviously Vancouver wasn’t what I wanted it to be but I learned quite a lot from it,” said McCorkell.

“I’ve been training well and done everything I possibly can have done over the past couple of years to prepare for this.

“If it doesn’t go right then its bad luck, but I’m not focusing on what happened in the past, I just want to put down a good performance.

“I’ve just been training as normal, I feel in good shape. I’m here for quite a long period of time, I have the team event on Saturday and then a good ten to twelve days until my individual events so I want to try and keep it as normal as possible.

“I would ideally like to make the top 15, that would be realistic and in the team event, we’re all a bit confused with what’s happening as it’s a new event to us all and to the Olympics so that will be an accumulation of points from all the disciplines so we have no idea what to expect in terms of points so hopefully we’ll just skate our best and see where we come out.

“We’re delighted to be in the top ten teams in the world, that’s a great achievement for Great Britain.”

The team event got under way on Thursday and after a fall for Stacey Kemp in her pairs routine with David King and for Matthew Parr in the men’s short programme, Great Britain lie in 10th and last place.

But for McCorkell Saturday will give her an opportunity to sample the atmosphere inside the Iceberg Skating Palace before the individual competition gets under way on Wednesday week.

“I’ve had unbelievable support from back home. I couldn’t have done it without it,” added Jenna.

“I’ve had so many messages on Twitter and Facebook I haven’t been able to keep up with them all, from old school teachers to family and friends who I haven’t heard from for a while all wishing me the best so it’s been great and I really appreciate them all. I hope I make them all proud.”

Meanwhile, Bangor’s Aimee Fuller will be in action on Sunday morning in the semi-finals of the snowboard slopestyle needing a top four finish to make the final that takes place later in the day.

Ireland 16 year-old snowboarder Seamus O’Connor will be in action in the semi-finals of the men’s event on Saturday morning.