NIC skaters have been busy competing in international competitions in Latvia & Germany this month.
Here’s how they got on:
Volvo Cup in Riga, Latvia
Charlie Parry-Evans – 14th place in the Senior Men’s category
Joshua Brown – 6th place, achieving a personal best and moving up to 3rd place in the National ranking based on highest score obtained in Junior Men’s competition during the 2014/15 season
Rebecca Gillespie – 8th place out of 44 with a personal best, achieving 1st place in the Advanced Novice Ladies National ranking
Alexandra Kunova (representing Slovakia) – 18th place achieving the European Figure Skating Championship qualification points
NRW Ice Dance Cup 2014 in Germany
Ellie O’Connell & Joshua Tarry – 7th place out of 12 with a personal best, achieving 1st place in the Basic Novice Ice Dance National ranking
Well done to all our skaters. They performed well with most achieving personal best scores whilst competing against athletes from top winter sport nations!
This weekend (7-9 November), the Great British Short Track speed skaters claimed four top ten finishes at the first ISU World Cup of the 2014-15 season. The event, which took place in Salt Lake City, USA, saw the senior squad compete against the best speed skaters from around the globe.
Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne led the way for the Brits with some solid performances. Christie raced to the final of the 1000m and took fourth place overall after finishing second in her semi final. She also came top in her semi final race in the 1500m distance, finishing in fifth in the final.
Whelbourne broke the British record in the A final of the 1000m, racing to a fourth place finish, which put him in 7th place overall in the 1000m classification.
Whelbourne commented on the weekend: “Coming from what I thought was a bit of a disappointing performance in the 1500m, I re-focused my attention towards the 1000m race where I broke the existing British record and got a top four finish, which was a good motivational boost. I’ll now be working to bridge the gap with the rest of the world and improve my performance in the competitions that lie ahead.
National Coach, Nicky Gooch commented: “On the whole, the skaters performed pretty well this weekend. We narrowly missed out on a couple of medals which was disappointing, but this was only our second international event of the current season and we can’t always expect everything to work out straight away.
“Jack skated particularly well this weekend, beating his own record in the 1000m A final. It’s also been a few years since we’ve had a male and female skater in the A final on the same day, which is something we can take away from this weekend’s competition.”
Charlotte Gilmartin skated well this weekend, with two top twelve finishes in her races (10th place in the 500m and 12th place in the 1000m). She put in a strong performance to reach the quarterfinal heats in both distances, finishing third in both races. Jon Eley also performed well, with two top 16 finishes in the 1000m and 500m distances.
Gooch said: “Jon skated ambitiously this weekend and he was penalised a couple of times, which happens in our sport. The key thing is that he was on form and raced well and had it not been for the penalties he received, he would have qualified for the semi finals.
The junior squad were also representing Great Britain at the Alta Valtellina Trophy in Bornio, Italy this weekend (6-9 November). There were some good performances amongst the skaters, with Kathryn Thomson claiming Gold in the 500m to finish third overall and Jack Burrows skating his way to two finals to finish fifth in the overall classification.
The senior squad now look ahead to World Cup 2 (14-16 November) this weekend in Montreal, Canada.
Gooch added: “As it’s only our second international competition of the season so far, the skaters must learn from their experiences here and build on them at the World Cup in Canada this weekend. Looking ahead to Canada and beyond, we’ll be working on a few new strategies and looking to close the gap between Team GB and the rest of the world.”
The coming weekend’s competition in Canada will be streamed live on http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html
Eight members of the GB Short Track speed skating squad begin their ISU World Cup campaign this week with the opening event in Salt Lake City, 7-9 November. The three day event consists of qualifying rounds on day one, followed by World Cup races on days two and three.
The World Cup is the first time that the skaters will compete on an international stage in the 2014-15 season, following two preparation events in Europe last month. Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool commented:
“Both preparation events for the ISU World Cup have gone well but it’s important to remember that it’s not just about the headline results, it’s about the experiences that came out of competing. The skaters started off rusty at the first competitive event of the season, but they’ve brushed that off for the World Cup and improved a lot, which was our main aim.
“This weekend is important for us as it’s the first major event since the start of the new Olympic cycle. There will be new skaters competing and a lot of uncertainty, so it will be an interesting time for us to gauge our main rivals. It will be much more clear who has made the jumps forward and who will be medalling at Pyeongchang 2018 by the end of the 2014-15 season.
Elise Christie, who took Gold overall at the Invitation Cup last month, after winning all three of the individual distances (500m, 1000m and 1500m) added: “I’m really looking forward to the World Cup. After the Invitation Cup my confidence has grown a lot and it really woke my body up to competing again.
“With it not being an Olympic Year, the pressure is not in the same league which makes competing more fun. It’s been a hard few months of training but I feel ready to get back out there again.”
“My biggest competition is probably going to be the Korean’s, but as it’s the start of a new Olympic cycle, it’s likely that all the teams will have been mixed up so we can’t yet predict who will come out on top.”
Jack Whelbourne has also had a positive start to the season after finishing second in the overall classification at the Invitation Cup. He said:
“I’m a little nervous for the World Cup because it’s the first international event of the season and the pressure that comes with competing is starting to raise its head. The dynamic of the team has changed this season, which knocked my confidence slightly, however my performance at the Invitation Cup has given me a boost and I feel like this year so far is the best I’ve ever skated.
“My main competition will come from the top European countries; Holland and Russia have very good teams. I’m excited to see where how I’ll do in the first international competition of the season.”
The ISU World Cup is held over six events. This year, the series kicks off with one stage in USA, followed by one in Canada, two in Asia and two in Europe.
After a long summer of training and honing their skills, Stuart is confident in the team’s ability. He added: “From a team perspective, we’ve kept the same squad so I don’t see any reason why they won’t continue to grow and improve, producing world class performances which will culminate in medal opportunities. We’re all raring to go and looking forward to what the season ahead has in store for us”.
Meanwhile, the junior GB skaters are currently in Bornio, Italy, competing in the 23rd annual Alta Valtellina Trophy (6-9 November).
Jon Eley, Paul Stanley, Richard Shoebridge, Jack Whelbourne, Billy Simms, Josh Cheetham, Elise Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin have all made the selection for World Cup 1, while the remainder of the squad will compete against the rest of Europe in the Alta Valtellina Trophy.
The Star Class competition last weekend was attended by seven National Ice Centre based skaters. This was our first Star Class competition of the season and overall it went well.
Group 1 Ladies (under 17)
Jessica Urquhart – 8th overall
Isabelle Roberts – 15th overall
Georgia Shanahan – 26th overall (out of 27 skaters)
Group 1 Men (under 17)
Jacob Porter – 23rd overall (out of 40 skaters)
Group 3 Ladies (Senior)
Gemma Cooper – 14th overall
Jennifer Pickering – 20th (out of 21 skaters)
Group 3 Men (Senior)
Josh Cheetham – 8th (out of 17 skaters)
The skaters are now back on the ice here in Nottingham and training hard in preparation for the next competition on 2 November.