After the final day of skating at the ISU Short Track Speed Skating world cup in Dresden, Germany; GB Short Track leaves the ice having secured two medals, a lifetime best and a new British record.
On Friday, competition opened with the qualifying rounds and GB Short Track was off to a strong start. Charlotte Gilmartin and Elise Christie both qualified for 1500m semi-finals and 500m quarter finals, Kathryn Thomson qualified for 1000m quarter finals, Jack Whelbourne qualified for 1000m and 500m quarter finals, Richard Shoebridge qualified for 500m quarter finals and Murray Cochrane qualified for 1500m semi finals. For Jennifer Pickering, skating in her career first World Cup, her performance left her with three second life time bests in both the 1500m and 1000m events.
Day two of the competition saw British and European Champion Elise Christie skate through a tactical race, playing on her strengths and positioning herself well to take 1st place and a gold medal in the 1500m final.
Today in the final day of competition, Christie followed yesterday’s gold medal winning performance with a silver medal in what was a tough 500m final. Racing against a Canadian and two Dutch skaters she had a good start and skated consistent lap times. Clear improvements have been made in Christie’s 500m race technique, something that served her well this weekend and gives a promising outlook to the rest of her season.
“I was both thrilled and shocked with the outcome for the 1500m yesterday as this isn't my strongest distance and it's the first time in my career that I've beat Minjeong Choi.
“I'm really happy to get a medal today as I don't often double medal at World Cups. I know I've still got areas to improve on but that what makes the future exciting.
“My blade got kicked during today’s race which affected the way I skated but overall I am pleased with the whole weekend.”
For other members of the GB Short Track squad, this weekend was a great learning curve and for some, it was event the scene for record-breaking performances.
Jack Whelbourne set a new British record in the 500m with a time of 40.5 seconds and showing potential for more as his skate included slipping on the exit. Meanwhile, Charlotte Gilmartin finished 6th overall in the 500m with a new life time best of 43.2 seconds.
GB Short Track’s Performance Director, Stewart Laing said;
“This weekend saw some really promising skating from all the British skaters. It’s always nice to walk away from the weekend with podium performances, however looking at the quality of skating across the board the team really stepped up. We all head to Dordrecht confident in the improvements being made during racing.”
Full results from the weekend can be found here
The squad now heads to Dordrecht in the Netherlands for the 6th World Cup taking place from 12th to 14th February. The World Cup series will then finish with the World Championships in Seoul, Korea from 11th to 13th March.
Published: 7th February 2016