Dundee figure skater Natasha McKay is the British Ladies champion for an incredible fifth time.
Now she has her sights set on the European Championships and then the Olympics within the next three months.
Covid-19 saw the Dundee Ice Arena closed for five months but the 26-year-old shrugged that off by putting in her “best ever” performance on day one.
And that’s despite organisers playing the wrong music for her performance as the 2021 Championships got under way in Sheffield last week.
“On the first day it was my best ever performance in the Short Program. It felt great,” she told the Courier.
“The wrong music came on, I think it was Karly (Robertson’s) music, she was on after me.
“That just added to the pressure! It was nerve-wracking and I had to completely re-focus while they changed the music.
“It had never happened to me before but thankfully it didn’t affect me.
#BritishChampionships Congratulations to @NatashaaMckay on winning her 5th title and Olympic berth 🇬🇧⛸🏆🌟 Great to see her landing a 3Lutz. With @Ice_Dundee coaches Debi & @s1briggs 👏🥇❤ pic.twitter.com/AKxHSmeM3r
— Huriye (@Huriye) December 5, 2021
“Then the second day was much more of a fight, the first jump was good but the rest was hit and miss.
“To win five British Championships, I would never have expected to be able to do that.
“In fact, I almost quit the sport the year before I won my first so it very nearly never happened.”
McKay wasn’t the only member of the Dundee team shining in Sheffield.
Karly Robertson picked up yet another silver medal in the Senior Ladies – amazingly her 12th in total, to add to her 2015 British ladies title.
Dundee also boasted fifth place through Danielle Harrison while Anastasia Vaipan-Law won the British Pairs title alongside Luke Digby of Sheffield.
And Simon Briggs, one half of the Dundee coaching team alongside wife Debi, was delighted to see such Dundee dominance.
He said: “It was a fantastic week, it couldn’t have gone much better.
“Natasha did great to win her fifth British title, it’s a real stepping stone towards the Olympics. We’ll hear the decision that later this month.
“But what she does and continues to do is amazing.
“It was a strong British Ladies field and she won by a margin.
“All three of our Senior Ladies upped their game and to have first, second and fifth from Dundee out of eight is fantastic.
“We certainly got a fair whack of the medals.
1/2 What a team! What a weekend!5th British title for @NatashaaMckay Silver for @karlyRobertson 1st pairs title for @anastasiavlaw @luke_digbyy in their 1st British championships Great Bronze for Elliot Thompson @s1briggs @debisk8gr8 @BritishIceSkate @Andrew_SmithAS pic.twitter.com/caOIG19KdS
— Ice Dundee (@Ice_Dundee) December 6, 2021
“Anastasia and Luke won the Pairs Championship, too, which was an added bonus in their first season competing together.
“And we had Lucy Hay and Kyle McLeod win the Advanced Novice Pairs as well as Emma Lyons second in the Advanced Novice Ladies so the conveyer belt is still running!”
The European Championships take place in Estonia from January 12 before the Winter Olympics in Beijing kick off on February 4.