Tuesday, Jan 23 2018 | Time 15:37 Hrs(IST)
image
  • Magnitude 8'2 quake off Alaska prompts tsunami warning
  • Siddaramaiah can't present full budget: Yeddyurappa
  • Tripura LF declares candidates, no major change in list
  • Reference rate fixed at 63'7722 against USD
  • Air Force Chief inspects Jodhpur base
  • Police resort to lathicharge on BJP leaders marching Naveen Nivas to demand CBI probe on Kunduli gang rape case
  • Sealing drive: Kejriwal urges Centre to bring Ordinance
  • Triple Talaq Bill conspiracy against Muslims: Owaisi
  • Day chill revisits due to overcast conditions in Kashmir
  • New UP DGP calls for effective, professional policing to improve L&O
  • SC says NIA can prove all aspects except Hadiya's marriage
  • Traders in Delhi protest against sealing
  • Four Nations Invitational Tourney: India to take on hosts New Zealand in second-leg
  • GST biggest ever tax reform in country: Venkaiah Naidu
  • About 600 kg hemp seized in Chitrakoot, two peddlers held
Sports Share

Plan set to turn Britain from snow hopers to medal winners

Plan set to turn Britain from snow hopers to medal winners

LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) Turning Britain into a top-five Olympic nation in skiing and snowboarding might appear about as realistic as climbing the Eiger in a pair of plimsolls, but that is the target Dan Hunt has set himself.

It is unlikely to happen at next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang but Hunt does not have much time for the naysayers who laugh off the prospects of a nation without any Alpine DNA.

For good reason too.

Hunt, who became performance director of British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) a year ago, has previous when it comes to mocking conventional wisdom.

When he joined British Cycling in 2005, then performance director Dave Brailsford put him in charge of a women's endurance squad used to making up the numbers.

Hunt, who had no expertise in cycling, applied his background in exercise science and physiology to such great effect that Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel won gold and silver in the individual pursuit in Beijing in 2008.

Now he believes Britain's skiers and snowboarders can make a similar jump from also-rans to medal winners.

"We've set out to become a top-five nation," Hunt said in an interview at a media day for Britain's Pyeongchang hopefuls at Hemel Hempstead's Snow Centre.

"As soon as you say something like that, and I've done that a couple of times so I know what's going to happen, you get 33 percent of the team saying 'yeah that's what we want, want to start winning, we want ambition'.

INTERESTING JOURNEY

"Then you have the "that will never happen brigade". They think just because it hasn't been done means it can't be done.

"When we said at British Cycling that we wanted to have a Tour de France champion by 2013 the room burst into laughter.

"Then you have the middle group who will take a step to the left or right depending on how it's going to pan out. That's why you have to deliver what you said you were going to deliver."

Hunt's second Olympics as a cycling coach was London 2012 where the hosts won 12 medals, after which he joined Team Sky as Sporting Director, before being poached by the Premier League to run its Elite Player Performance Plan.

"It's been an interesting journey for me," Hunt, now responsible for all the snow disciplines -- including Alpine, cross-country, freestyle, snowboard and ski jumping, said.

"There are some fundamental aspects of performance that are very similar across all sports. You take good leadership, good coaching and strap that around a very defensible performance plan. You need a clear vision and strategy."

Britain won it's first ever Olympic medal on snow when Jenny Jones came third in the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi 2014.

Last year, the team earned 15 World Cup podiums across the various disciplines and heading into Pyeonchang there are realistic medal hopes for the likes of slalom skier Dave Ryding, snowboarders Katie Ormerod and Billy Morgan and freestyle skiers James Woods and Katie Summerhayes.

Hunt said his first year in charge has been about "plugging gaps" and while he does not expect a medal rush in South Korea, he is confident the team can better Sochi.

"I'm not Harry Potter with a magic wand saying we are suddenly going to be a competitive nation. But we have a process in place. Pyeongchang is 100 days and I'm hoping it will be our most successful Games.

"But once we have come back the world won't stop turning. Then we start focussing on Beijing 2022 and where we will have many more opportunities."

REUTERS SW1606

More News

Kremlin regrets Ahn out of Olympics in S Korea

23 Jan 2018 | 2:52 PM

MOSCOW, Jan 23 (Reuters) Moscow said it regrets that Russian athletes Viktor Ahn, Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov are not considered eligible for the next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

 Sharesee more..
Johannesburg Test: Proteas eyeing whitewash, India look to salvage pride

Johannesburg Test: Proteas eyeing whitewash, India look to salvage pride

23 Jan 2018 | 2:48 PM

Johannesburg, Jan 23 (UNI) After going down 0-2, the Virat Kohli-led Team India will be eyeing to avoid a whitewash when they take on hosts South Africa for the final time in the series here at the New Wandrers stadium on Wednesday.

 Sharesee more..

Russian short track skater Ahn to miss Winter Olympics

23 Jan 2018 | 2:37 PM

MOSCOW, Jan 23 (Reuters) Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn, biathlete Anton Shipulin and cross-country skier Sergei Ustyugov are not on the list of athletes eligible for next month's Pyeongchang Winter Games, a Russian Olympic Committee official said on Tuesday.

 Sharesee more..

...

23 Jan 2018 | 2:31 PM

Meanwhile skipper Manpreet Singh stated that the team is eager to put up an improved performance in Hamilton.

 Sharesee more..

....

23 Jan 2018 | 2:31 PM

For the home side, pacers Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi, who debuted in Centurion and emerged with impressive figures of 6/39, are in top form and would again be aiming to destroy the Indian batting order.

 Sharesee more..
image