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Redditch speed skater Gilmartin heads to world championships
4:06pm Friday 7th March 2014 in Sport
SPEED skater Charlotte Gilmartin is hoping her Sochi experience will help her glide towards world championship success.
The Redditch flyer has already left for Canada in preparation for this month's short track world championships in Montreal.
The event, which takes place from March 14 to 16, comes hot on the heels of last month's Sochi Winter Olympics.
Gilmartin concluded her campaign in Russia with a fifth place finish in her 1,500m heat but took a lot of confidence from her 500m quarter-final finish at the games.
The 23-year-old, who won a European bronze medal last season, now hopes to show even more progression when she competes in three individual events in Canada.
"I learned a lot about the mental side of the sport at the Olympics. I put a lot of pressure on myself at the qualifiers and didn't perform very well," she said.
"Once I got to Sochi, I finally relaxed and turned it around. I now understood how important it is to enjoy it and to not think too much or put too much pressure on yourself."
She also said she is looking forward to taking her new outlook to the world championships and believes the team of GB skaters heading for Montreal has become stronger because of the winter games.
"We are now a closer and stronger team after the Olympics. We all feel really confident going into the world championships," she added.
On a personal note, Gilmartin said: "I just want to go there and do my best. I want to enjoy it, relax, but know I have left everything on the ice."
The championships could prove to be a crucial stepping stone as the former Arrow Vale High School student plots her road to Pyeongchang, the next hosts of the Winter Olympics in 2018.