Kerry aced his short program yesterday with a personal best of 67.97 – positioning the 18-year-old at the top of all 28 men seeking Olympic qualification.
His strong short program meant he was the fourth last skater to complete his free routine. The pressure of being in the last group of skaters for the first time at this level of competition showed in Kerry’s routine, displaying some minor mistakes and popping a jump.
“I felt like a mess today,” Kerry said after the event. “In practice today I popped so it was stressful. I was really nervous. I kept thinking about my friends in Riverside in California and this little competition we all have - to see who can get the most amount of jumps done in the long [program]. I feel pressure from that daily and that helped with today's event.”
Showing his rapidly developing maturity, Kerry worked through the nerves, and the pain of his throbbing wrist – to score a new overall personal best score of 188.67, more than 18 points better than he achieved at the recent Junior Grand Prix in Latvia.
The score placed Kerry as the fourth highest athlete seeking qualification, well and truly inside the top-six he needed. When the realisation dawned on him, Kerry’s face lit up as he said “I’m going to be an Olympian! I don't think it's hit me yet.”
Kerry, who will be 19 at the Sochi Games, follows in the footsteps of his mother Monica MacDonald who competed at Calgary 1988 in ice dancing.
“I almost cried when the results came up - I’m so proud of Bren,” MacDonald said from Poland where she has been coaching at a Junior Grand Prix.
“The men’s event was always going to be tough, but he did what he needed to do. I never doubted that he would make it to Sochi even when others did. He is such an inspiration to our local kids, spending most of his career at home in Sydney training, to go out and compete amongst the best in the world and make it. I am a very proud mum and very proud to have been part of his journey.” "I couldn’t be more proud," his father Darren Kerry also added.
Kerry was coached by MacDonald in his formative years, before making the move at the end of the 2012 season to train under revered coach Tammy Gambill in Riverside, California.
Article courtesy AOC/Alice Wheeler | http://www.sochi2014.olympics.com.au