Perri Shakes-Drayton admits she did feel it was a risk taking part in Dancing on Ice last month – but is glad she went on the TV show.
The Londoner, who suffered a serious knee injury at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and was subsequently out of action for much of the next four years, headed into ITV’s skating contest having enjoyed a positive last few months of 2017.
In August, Shakes-Drayton was part of the 4×400 metres relay team that claimed silver for Great Britain at the World Championships in London, and in October she was named in Team England’s athletics squad for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The 29-year-old, set to compete in the relay and the individual 400m event at the Games in Australia’s Gold Coast in April, told Press Association Sport when asked if she had felt like it was a risk going on Dancing on Ice: “Initially, I did.
“But then I was like ‘it’s not that bad’. I know the basics of skating and I wasn’t going out there trying to do loads of tricks and jumps.
“It actually benefited me. My training on the track was good and I felt stronger in my legs. So I never went on the ice with fear, I went with confidence.
“My coach (Chris Zah) initially wasn’t too keen on it, but I made the decision I was going to do it.
“He didn’t know my skating ability, but he said he would support me either way. Then he noticed as I was coming to training that I was still putting in the work, still reaching targets. So he eventually started to warm to it.”
Shakes-Drayton – eliminated from the show on January 28, the fourth week – said switching to a winter sport is something she has not ever really thought about.
But she added: “I don’t think I’d make a good figure skater, I don’t think I’m elegant enough at all!”
Shakes-Drayton also firmly ruled out taking part in The Jump, saying of that TV show: “That is too risky!”
Meanwhile, the runner has welcomed Monday’s announcement about the new athletics World Cup event taking place in London this summer.
The competition will take place on the evenings of July 14 and 15, the same weekend as the World Cup final in Russia and the Wimbledon finals, which are scheduled for the afternoons.
Shakes-Drayton said: “It is exciting. What I think is lacking in our sport is getting to see world-class athletes on a more regular basis and I think an event like this will be great.
“It is on the same date as other big events, so I hope it is not going to get overshadowed – hopefully those other events will start up the momentum for watching sport on those days and then we’ll finish off with the best, the athletics!”
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