Nerves starting to jangle as I get ready to take on the world's best in Spain

I've just finished my final training session before heading off to the World Championships in La Molina, Spain. The nerves are beginning to creep in!

Normally this wouldn’t happen until the morning of competition, but I think considering the entire funding situation and not having trained properly since last year this is to be expected.

I am also aware there will be some influential people with a keen eye on my result. That said, I am remaining realistic as well as optimistic.

What a wonderful sight: Zoe in action

What a wonderful sight: Zoe in action

Thankfully there have been some developments since last week. On Tuesday I received a £10,097 payment from UK Sport out of the £31,000, which is now over three and half months overdue.

It paid some of the debts off, but I hope I receive the remainder soon, as I need to repay the remainder of this season's debts so far and book flights in the next few days so I can compete in Korea and Canada.

Following last week’s competition I sat down with my coach Lukas Prem before he returned home to Austria and discussed my current form leading into the World Championships. I mentioned in a previous blog that he wasn’t keen for me to compete, but my third place last weekend, which saw me beat the Olympic Silver medalist Deborah Anthonioz managed to convince him to let me enter.

My aim when entering any competition is obviously always to win. I shouldn’t be competing if this isn’t the case, but each competition my coach also sets me a target. This time my target is to qualify in the top 16. Usually the target is a podium, so I was a little surprised as this would usually be a walk in the park!

However when he summed everything up I had to think again. He explained at this elite level your preparation has to be perfect. Going into the World Championships you must be totally focused, physically and mentally.

He said that apart from the injury I picked up at the Olympics requiring key hole surgery with a resultant six-12 months recovery period, I have effectively had a 12 month break from the sport. Lukas and I haven’t trained properly together in this time due to lack of funding, my governing body going bust and the constant political fighting.

All the world’s best athletes have got 12 months extra training and competition than I have. Just one second could be the difference between coming in the top five or not qualifying at all. It sounds pretty poor when you read it but I'll never make excuses for it.

Enlarge   Jump to it: Zoe training this week

Jump to it: Zoe training this week

I might have a goal set for me of a top 16 finish but secretly I want to win. I’m not bothered if I haven’t been on snow for four years, put me in a competition and I’ll go for it, every time.

I want to thank Tim Allerdyce, a physio who has volunteered to fly out to the World Championship just to help me. That is a real boost as with all my injuries I desperately need a physio right now.

I’ve also received so many good luck messages this week. Someone from Canada even wondered if I there was any way I was eligible to join the Canadian team. I don’t have Canadian parents and even If I did I would never compete for another country, but it was great they recognised my potential. Skeleton star Kristan Bromley took time out of his preparations to send his support.

I have two time trial qualification runs on Monday where I'll race the clock. The top 16 athletes overall will then progress into the heats on Tuesday, where four people race each other at a time. The top two athletes will then qualify for the semi final, and then the top two again into the final.

Snowboard Cross is a fast and exciting sport. It is very unpredictable and you need good balance, fast reactions and as much speed as possible. Everyone will be out to beat the Olympic champion Maelle Ricker.

Anyway, time to start packing and get the checklist out as we are setting off early in the morning.

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