World Figure Skating Championships: McKay hopes for Olympic spot after free skate final

British figure skating champion Natasha McKay is pinning her hopes on a place in the 2022 Winter Olympics after the final of the World Figure Skating Championships.

Natasha McKay is hoping for an Olympic spot.

McKay, from Dundee placed 23rd in the World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, after a skate which saw her miss both axel components of her programme.

The skater, who scored 95.31 in her free skate after qualifying for the final in the top 24 after the short programme earlier this week, has struggled to get ice time during the pandemic, practising just four days a week for an hour and a half a day since rinks shut at Christmas under new Scottish lockdown measures.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

All three medals went to Russian skaters. Teenager Anna Shcherbakova, who earned 152.17 in the free skate and 233.17 overall won gold in her first World championships. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva came in second place with 220.46, while Alexandra Trusova was third with 217.20. Only the top 24 out of 37 skaters qualified for the free skate final. Japan’s Rika Kihira, who was in second place after the short programme, had a disappointing skate and ended the competition in eighth place

She said: "Obviously everyone is looking for an Olympic spot this year. The axels I had a bit of trouble with [today]. They've been going OK the last few months in training. Today they just didn't work, so overall though I was quite happy with the performance and made a few mistakes, just being back was really exciting and enjoyable.”

"It's been extremely difficult having no ice at all - the first four or five months of the year was really hard. Then we had to travel a bit to get back on the ice, which was hard again. And then we lost the ice again over Christmas, because of lockdown. So just getting back on the last few months was trying to fit everything into every session.”

A total of 24 of the 30 Olympic spots for women are allocated according to the results of the World Figure Skating Championships.

The championships is being held with no audience and other covid protocols in place, such as regular testing of athletes in the competition bubble.

Read More

Read More
World Figure Skating Championships: Gibson and Fear head into ice dance final in...

She said: “The atmosphere was very different with no audience but you kind of get used to it, especially being British, we don't have a lot of audience at the British Championships, not like in Japan, where there were 40,000 people and it was amazing. You just try to imagine there’s people here and do the best you can.”

She said the coming months would be vital in training for the Winter Olympics next year, as well as a full schedule of British, European and World Championships.

She said: "We hope we can get our normal training schedule back and just really focus on next season because it's going to be a big season. I'm just going to have to put everything into the next few months, get a new programme. Just get ready for next season as much as I can be ready to go and fight for that spot, if I need to go fight for it.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.