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Skating Wednesday, 6 February, 2002, 12:37 GMT
Britain's sisters of speed
Joanna Williams and Sarah Lindsay
Williams and Lindsay have always been close off the ice
BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson talks to speed-skating's best buddies, Joanna Williams and Sarah Lindsay, and their male counterpart, Nicky Gooch.

On the ice, Sarah Lindsay and Joanna Williams will be the fiercest of rivals as they fulfil their Olympic dreams.

But off it, they are the best of friends and have known each other since they were children.

Williams and Lindsay met 14 years ago when they were six and seven-years-old respectively.

They lived in Kingston in Surrey and both shared a passion for speed skating.

World Cup form
Overall rankings
Gooch - 14th
Lindsay - 10th
Williams - 8th

500 metres
Gooch - 40th
Lindsay - 8th
Williams - 13th

1000 metres
Gooch - 21st
Lindsay - 18th
Williams - 16th

1500 metres
Gooch - 18th
Lindsay - 10th
Williams - 7th
Lindsay told BBC Sport Online: "It is fantastic that we are both at the Winter Olympics.

"We have known each other for years and have grown up together.

"We always race each other and our careers have gone hand in hand."

They will both be taking part in the three women's short-track events - the 500m, 1000m and 1500m.

Lindsay's favoured event is the 500m and she broke the British record during a practice race in the Team GB holding camp in Calgary.

Williams on the other hand prefers the 1500m race.

Both women have been performing well in this season's World Cup, finishing in the top 10 in three races.

And when you consider each country in the Winter Olympics can only enter two skaters per event - a medal is certainly not out of the question.

Williams said: "I've been getting better as the season has gone on.

"I finished fourth in the last World Cup race in Bulgaria and in the European Championships I had two second places."

One skater who has already tasted Olympic medal glory is Nicky Gooch, who is taking part in his fourth Winter Games.

Nicky Gooch
Gooch is hoping for a one-off performance to make up for a poor season

Gooch won a bronze medal in the 500m at Lillehammer in 1994.

He said: "When I won the bronze medal it didn't seem real and it took me a long time to realise how big an achievement it was.

"Now, as it becomes harder to win a medal, I appreciate it more and more."

Gooch admitted the medal is normally kept in his sock drawer at home in Nottingham but his proud parents have got it at the moment so they can show it to their friends during the Olympics.

He has enjoyed the facilities of Calgary's Olympic Oval and believes he can win another medal.

Gooch said: "This season has not been my best results-wise but I am in a good frame of mind and believe anything is possible.

"I certainly won't be favourite, but then again, I was an outside chance in Lillehammer and I came up with the goods then."

 TEAM GB SPECIAL
BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson

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