Short Trackers Added To Australian Olympic Team For Pyeongchang 2018
Short Track Speed Skaters Deanna Lockett and Andy Jung have been named on the Australian
Winter Olympic Team for PyeongChang 2018.
Sochi Olympian Lockett secured the female quota for Australia after she finished the 2017/18 World Cup season ranked seventh in the 1500m and 19th in the 1000m, with the top 32 female skaters qualifying for the Games.
The 22-year-old will be joined by Olympic debutant Jung who secured his spot on the 2018 Team after a clean sweep of the Olympic selection trials in Melbourne late last week.
20-year-old Jung qualified a male Olympic quota place for Australia in the 500m and 1500m distances during the
World Cup season, but had to face off against three of his Aussie teammates to claim the spot for himself. “I feel so honoured to be selected on the Australian Team for the Games,” Jung said. “It’s a big relief.”
Korean born Jung moved to Australia in 2009 and took up speed skating in Melbourne in 2012. He moved back to his home nation, after he narrowly lost the male spot for Sochi to his good friend Pierre Boda, to train with a local Korean team in Seoul.
The change of training base and new skating program has paid off.
“I’ve been training for five years now, and I missed the Sochi Games by a pinch,” he said.
“Now making it to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, it’s everything I’ve been working for, everything that I had was put in and it feels unreal.”
An excited Lockett said today’s welcomed announcement was an accumulation of years of hard work and dedication. “I have been working towards this for the past four years since Sochi so it’s very exciting to be part of the Winter
Olympic Team again,” Lockett said.
“There is such a big build up so when the Games are finally approaching it’s nice to get in the Olympic spirit.”
As Australia’s fastest female in a relatively small winter sport, Lockett is ready to take Short Track to the big stage for her second Games.
“I think I’m most excited to have the whole of Australia’s attention,” the Queenslander said.
“Short track isn’t on the TV normally so I think it would be great to get Australia more into Short Track and Winter sport.
“I was very nervous for my first event in Sochi, so I have worked on that a bit and grown from my past experience and I will be better this time.”
Australia’s Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman, congratulated the pair on their Team selection.
“It’s fantastic that both Deanna and Andy have made the Australian Olympic Team for PyeongChang,” he said.
“What they’ve done in the lead up to the season has allowed them to become the two best athletes for the spots, so it’s great that they’ve now got their chance to go to PyeongChang.
“Deanna has been there before and with Andy going for his first time it will no doubt be a great experience for him.” Chesterman said he is very happy with how the Australian team is starting to shape up.
“We’ve got our figure skaters and now our short track team and though we’ve got a little while to wait for the rest of the athletes to gain qualification, it’s starting to build out to a really strong Team for PyeongChang.”
President of Australian Ice Racing Incorporated, Frank Anderson, said it was exciting for the whole Short Track community to select the pair.
“Deanna and Andy are world class,” Anderson said. “Deanna is definitely a podium skater and Andy showed during the World Cup season that he can mix it with the best, making it to the semi-finals in the 500m.
“It’s very exciting times and we’re looking forward to February and watching the team race.”
The addition of Lockett and Jung takes next year’s Australian Winter Olympic Team to six athletes so far, with the majority of the team to be selected in late January.