AS the Sochi 2014 Olympics draw ever closer, Edinburgh freestyle skier Murray Buchan is playing a selection waiting game – but he insists he is doing all he can to make the Team GB plane in February.
Buchan, 21, who won the men’s halfpipe title at the British Championships shortly after finishing a career best 18th at the World Championships, is targeting three World Cups either side of Christmas as a chance to catch the eyes of the British selectors before decisions are made on January 20. He has already met the qualifying criteria, effectively two top-20 World Cup finishes, but Buchan, pictured, isn’t resting on his laurels.
“I’ve got a good chance but nothing’s decided,” said Buchan, right, who competes at Copper Mountain in America next month. “The selectors make their picks in January. The aim is wanting to prove I’m the man who should be sent.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh freestyle skier Anna Vincenti is determined to remain grounded all the way to the Olympics. The 18-year-old became a realistic contender to make the British team for Sochi in August as she enjoyed a World Cup debut to remember in New Zealand.
A slopestyle specialist, whereby skiers are marked on their ability to perform tricks off jumps and ramps, Vincenti qualified for the final in eighth.
A fall on a training run thereafter prevented her from aiming to better that placing in the final as she withdrew, however, eighth overall more than satisfies the Olympic selection criteria. Just one more top-20 World Cup finish is needed for Vincenti to effectively book her place on the plane to Sochi. But she’s not looking beyond her next potential outing in America. “I only need one more really good finish at a World Cup to get to the Olympics,” said Vincenti. “I’ve got a couple coming up so they are a real good chance for me to get on the Olympic team. Just to go to Sochi would be awesome.”
• Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 170 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Bank of Scotland’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013. www.bankofscotland.com/localheroes