By Mike Rowbottom

Elise Christie_27-09-12September 27 - British short track speed skater Elise Christie, included in the team which will open its 2012-2013 season at the Invitation Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands this weekend, will seek to match her achievement at last year's meeting on the Dutch rink, when she finished first in the overall classification after winning the 1000 and 1500 metres events.

Christie (pictured top) will be part of a 14-strong squad setting off from its training base in Nottingham this week with the looming challenge of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics very much in mind.

After a dominating performance at the Open Squad Trials earlier this month, Christie appears in a strong position to repeat her success from last year.

"I'm feeling confident ahead of this season," Christie said.

"Last year I skated well in Holland so I am looking forward to going back, and hopefully I can challenge for medals again."

Two-time Olympian Jon Eley and former junior world champion Jack Whelbourne, who were also on good form at the trials, will be hoping to achieve podium positions.

"I can't wait to be back racing on the international circuit," Whelbourne said.

"We've been training hard all summer, and I feel ready to put that training into practise in Heerenveen, I think this season could be our best yet."

Performance director Stuart Horsepool said: "We've had a solid start to this season at the Open Squad Trials, the skaters have shown that the training they have put in over the summer months is paying off, and now it's time to transfer that hard work into a competitive race situation.

"The Invitation Cup will be fantastic for the team to get some serious racing in ahead of the World Cup Series which is now only three weeks away.

"Unfortunately Mari Deland, who got her GB squad qualification time at the trials, will not be able to travel with the team to Holland due to injury."

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