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Britain's top speed skaters crowned national champions

This weekend (3rd and 4th January), the 2015 British Short Track Championships took place at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre (NIC). The weekend saw Britain’s elite speed skaters compete alongside some of the best club skaters in the UK, in the annual event which is organised by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA).

Elise Christie, entered the competition on a high after bringing home two bronze medals in the World Cup in Seoul at the end of 2014. This weekend, Christie was named National Champion in all three distances; 500m, 1000m and 1500m. The elite skater was closely followed by fellow team mate Charlotte Gilmartin and Nottingham skater, Gemma Cooper.

Stuart Horsepool, Performance Director said: “Elise and Charlotte skated very well this weekend. They have both been working on their technical track craft and they have shown how they have developed. They are two world level athletes who are constantly learning and pushing hard to be the best, and the British Championships is a good way to get them nailing down key skills that will help them get to the top.”

Christie added: “This weekend was about working on my technical skills and focusing on skating well; the fact that I got the titles was a bonus. For the last few months I have been skating against world class skaters and it has been tough, not only on my fitness, but also on my training, so it has been great to skate at home again. Whilst I’m skating at a world level I begin to find out my weaknesses and when I’m competing at home it enables me to work on improving and testing out new skills on the ice.”

The Junior squad also had a good weekend with Jennifer Pickering claiming the Junior Ladies National title in 500m and 1000m. Fellow GB squad member, Jack Burrows showed great skill and talent this weekend claiming the National title in the 500m and 1000m in the Junior races.

Jack Whelbourne took the title in the men’s senior overall classification after finishing top in 1500m and finishing just behind Jon Eley in second place in 500m.

Jon Eley was crowned National Senior Men’s 500m champion after a close final. Eley also claimed Gold in the 1000m closely followed by Murray Cochrane who took Silver. Farrell Treacy took bronze.

Stuart added: “It’s interesting to see how well our podium potential skaters get on against our top senior skaters. The young skaters including Murray Cochrane, Billy Simms, Josh Cheetham and Farrell Treacy, have proved that they can challenge our senior squad, which is very encouraging and says a lot about their future racing potential.”

For those that missed the squad in action at the British Short Track Championships, this coming weekend (9th to 11th January) they are competing in the ISU Star Class Competition taking place at Nottingham’s NIC.

Horsepool added: “This weekend, the GB squad will compete again on home ice, but this time they will be racing at an international level. The Star Class Competition is the first international speed skating event to come to Nottingham and it already looks exciting with 43 national teams from across Western Europe signed up to compete.

“We have 3000 local school children attending on Friday and the rest of the weekend’s racing is open to the public, who I hope to see out en masse to support the British team”.

Tickets for the Star Class Competition are available to purchase from the Capital FM Arena website at www.capitalfmarena.com or by calling 0843 373 3000. Tickets cost £5 each, or £12 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children).

For further information, click here.

For the full list of results from the British Short Track Championships please click here.