Ice rink success needed for GBR to improve in Winter Sports

Dutch speedskaters training
Great Britain is languishing in 17th place in the Global Cup 2013 after a quarter of the sporting year has gone.
An awkward position to be in for 2012’s overall third-placed nation. Why is GBR so low in the ranking today, after breaking into the top 3 sporting giants for the first time last year?
Past performance shows GBR has actually improved over 2012, scoring 350 pts this year when they were 19th with only 121 pts last year, and performed much like 2011 (17th with 232 pts) and only a little worse than 2010 (14th with 392 pts).
The reason for this endemic lack of sparkle in the first three months of the year is GBR’s weakness in Winter Sports. They account for 67% all points awarded so far this year and GBR is currently 20th in the Winter Sports Global Cup table, with 117 pts to their credit (only 33% of GBR’s pts so far).
Sporting nations that are less accomplished overall and do not enjoy snow conditions that are on the whole more favourable than the UK, like Kazakhstan, Slovenia or the Netherlands, are comfortably ahead of Great Britain.
We mention snow because it isn’t the only factor which makes for Winter Sports prowess. It helps, as all the current top ten Winter Sports nations are either Alpine, Scandinavian or just huge countries like the USA or Russia.
Yet if we look into 11th and 12th position we find two nations, South Korea and the Netherlands, who aren’t noted for their mountain ranges. The key is their strong tradition in skating sports: the Dutch have scored 333 of their 435 pts overall so far, and all but 3 of their Winter Sports pts so far, in Figure Skating, Speedskating and Short Track.

If Great Britain was to strongly  improve its performance on the skating rink (including Ice Hockey), it could aim at earning another 200 to 250 overall Global Cup points. They could prove decisive in holding on to the sensational third place rank in the sporting nations table which Olympic prowess earned them last year.

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