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Thursday 13 December 2012 Updated: 13/12 15:14
HENLEY-in-Arden speed skating star Farrell Treacy may be earning his spurs on the continent but it is prizes closer to home that the talented teenager has his eyes set on.
The 17-year-old already has trips to Italy, Germany and Hasselt, Belgium under his belt this winter as he looks to improve on last season’s 26th-place finish on the European men’s junior A circuit.
Currently ranked just outside the European top ten in the under-19 age group, Treacy is hopeful that the experience of competing against the best will help him triumph at the Junior British Open on December 28 and 29, and the British Short Track Championships on January 5 and 6.
And, after finishing sixth in the Junior Open and third in the British Championships in his age group last year, short-track racer Treacy believes he is stronger and wiser and can go all the way.
“I’m looking to win it because I have got close before but not quite done it,” he said.
“But after we have a little bit of a break I have the nationals coming up and I am hoping I can do well in them.
“They put two age groups together so I was always skating against guys older than me but this will be my first year as one of the older ones.
“So I will be looking to do really well in it and I am very confident of my chances – definitely.
“It has been a pretty good season so far but I would like to come something like eighth in the Star Class, I would be really happy with that.”
After the masses of national attention given to London 2012 and interest in summer Olympic sports it could be time for the winter sports to step up and show their hand.
But any chance Treacy might be tempted to jump onto local ice rinks set up all over the country in town centres as Christmas approaches to show off his skills were dismissed by the skater, who benefits from being a member of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme.
“No, I couldn’t do that, I’ll stick to training indoors,” he said.
“I went for a run the other day and I had to whack on the thermals so it is getting a bit cold now.
“The Olympics was great though, it was definitely inspirational and I hope we can have success at the winter Olympics as well.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Since 2008, the programme has supported 1,000 athletes. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes
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