SWINDON skate pairing Zoe Jones and Christopher Boyadji are hoping that illness will not hamper their chances at the British Championships next weekend.

The duo were crowned British Senior Pairs champions last year, and are hoping to repeat the feat this year, despite Jones being struck down with flu over the last few weeks.

“After a competition in Riga I came down with a chest infection, a throat infection and a temperature,” she said.

“The doctor told me I had flu, I’ve still been competing but it hasn’t been the best.

“So now we have the British Championships and we leave on Thursday and then we skate next Saturday and Sunday.

“This week we have taken it easy because I am still getting over being ill.

“We just need to hit it a little bit harder next week, we have to be smart about what we are doing.”

Jones also revealed that the pair have split from their coach Chris Naylor, and linked up with Russian Alexander Markuntsov, who is based in Coventry.

While Jones admits it was a frustration to find a new coach, as the duo were left without one for a number of months, she believes they have found the right man in Markuntsov.

“We had a really good start to the season, we have new programmes and we have tried a few new things,” she added.

“In this country pairs skating is a bit of a minority sport so to find a coach to teach us was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

“It was a difficult time because we didn’t know if we could carry on.

“It was difficult but we have made it this far.

“Alexander is more technical. Because he’s Russian we do everything more, in the first couple of months we struggled to move.”