DENHAM youngster Daniella Alessi came third at last year’s The British Solo Ice Dance Championships in Sheffield – but looks set to challenge for a bigger prize after this year’s stunning qualification results.
In 2011, the 12-year-old won her bronze in the U13 category – missing gold by just three points. It continued a steady improvement in the past three years. She came 12th as a nine year-old and fifth the year before last.
Gold is very much in her sights this time around, but Daniella has not chosen an easy path to glory by any means, having decided to compete in the Novice category for U15s, which pits her against mostly older girls.
But judging by her results in qualification – when she won all three rounds in one of the two categories at Edinburgh, Oxford and Bracknell – she will be among the favourites to land gold at this year’s championships on June 25.
Alessi won first place in all three qualifying events in the Free Dance, and also won the Compulsory section in Scotland with a beautiful Starlight Waltz, gaining a personal best score under the internationally recognised scoring system.
Mum Lisa says the improved results in qualification are down to her training harder and for longer hours. She was also switched her coaching programme from Slough Ice Arena to Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton – even though that involves a much longer round trip.
The proud parent said: “Daniella could have competed at U13 level again, as she has done for the past three years since she was nine. She certainly would have been a firm favourite to gain the gold. But her coach thinks she should take the challenge of competing in the older age group rather than go trophy hunting."
Alessi is due to attend the Scottish Championships on June 2 ahead of the British Championships – a competition revived this year after being mothballed in recent years.