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Speed skaters to take on Europe in Dresden Star Class Cup

This weekend (24-26th October), British speed skaters will be in action at the Star Class Cup in Dresden, Germany. Nine members of NISA's World Class Short Track Performance Programme will be competing against the best skaters in Europe to battle it out for a place in the final.

This is the first of six Star Class events scheduled for the 2014-15 season, which culminate with the Europa Cup Finals in March next year. The final will see the fastest eight skaters in each age group category from East and West Europe go on to battle it out for a podium place. 

Murray Cochrane, Billy Simms and Josh Cheetham will compete in the senior men’s event, while Charlotte Gilmartin will be representing Great Britain in the senior women’s competition. Aydin Djemal will race in the male Junior A (U19) category with Jack Burrows and Jonathan Moody competing in the men’s Junior B (U17) events.

Also joining the British team are Kathryn Thomson and Jennifer Pickering, who will both be competing in the women’s Junior A category.

Across the course of the competition, the skaters - who were selected at the National Squad Open Trials in September this year - will compete over three distances against some of Europe’s top skaters.

Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool commented from Dresden: “The Star Class Cup provides these young athletes with an opportunity to try out new skills and get into the competition mindset. The skaters have all been with us for varying lengths of time and those with more experience are likely to do better. Results aren’t our main driver this weekend though; we are here to gain valuable experience on the international circuit and I want the athletes to focus on developing their racing technique”.

The Star Class Cup is supported and funded by the International Skating Union. Following the first event in the series this weekend, the next event will take place in Bormio, Italy between 6-9th November, followed by an event at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre in January.

This weekend’s racing in Dresden will be streamed live at www.shorttrackonline.info where results will also be available.