BOBSLEIGH: Ace Shone shows mental toughness

Dorset Echo: COPING WELL: Weymouth’s Serita Shone COPING WELL: Weymouth’s Serita Shone

MORE than two-and-a-half years after fracturing her spine on a training run in Germany, bobsleigh star Serita Shone says she is now “much better” at dealing with the potential dangers her sport holds.

The 25-year-old driver demonstrated her mental toughness in March when she and brakewoman Sian Huxtable crashed during the British Championships.

Weymouth-born Shone and her team-mate recovered from that setback to finish just one place off the podium following a superb second run in Igls, Austria.

Next month’s trials for the British team are Shone’s immediate focus and that steely determination exhibited earlier this year is something she will be hoping stands her in good stead going forward.

Reflecting on the British Championships and how she dealt with crashing again, she said: “When you go over you’re always worried about what has happened, that’s a natural reaction.

“But I don’t panic about it now and I’m much better at dealing with the fact that things might happen.

“We were a bit battered and bruised, which can be expected as you are only wearing a Lycra suit.

“But when I got in I gave myself a talk, pulled myself together and analysed what happened as quickly as I could.

“I tried to focus on the next run and that’s what I did, I didn’t give myself any chance to worry.

“If I did that I could have made it more difficult and I could have ended up with more problems.”

She went on to add: “I made a mistake in the first race but I only made it because we were pushing at a limit we had never pushed at before.

“You can only learn from your mistakes and, in the second race, we had a really fast time and nearly got third.”

Shone’s preparations for the British trials have been hampered by an Achilles injury, a problem that by her own admission has proved “hard to manage”.

On the plus side, she has enjoyed some success in her old sport of athletics while gearing up for the trials in Bath and London.

Gold medals in the high jump and shot put at the Dorset Championships were welcome bonuses for the former heptathlete as she added a bit of variety to her training.

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