GB Short Track Speed Skater Jack Burrows lived up to his nickname this weekend by taking the 500m gold medal in Torino, Italy at ISU StarClass 6, which took place 17th - 19th February. It’s a distance that the British junior record holder excels in and it’s his second gold medal of the season.
In the final on Saturday, 19 year old Burrows raced a time of 43.837 seconds (his personal best is 43.096 ), beating Cyprien Vacheron of France and Lorenzo Morrone of Italy. On the last day of the competition, Burrows then went on to win the B final of the 1,000m, giving him enough points to finish overall Men’s Junior ‘A’ silver medalist. He finished the 1,000m ahead of teammate Jonathan Moody, 18, who ended the weekend ranked in 8th place. The gold overall medal went to Friso Emons from the Netherlands.
Alongside Jack Burrows and Jonathan Moody, three other members of the GB Short Track Speed Skating World Class programme have been competing; Aydin Djemal, Jennifer Pickering and Hannah Morrison, accompanied by coach Seung Jae Lee. 20 year old Aydin Djemal took his second bronze medal of the season in the men's 1,000m. He finished behind Mylan Elzink (Netherlands) and Christoph Schubert (Germany), with a time of 1:41.680.
It’s been a successful series for this squad of younger athletes on the world class programme. At StarClass 2 in November in Norway, Aydin Djemal won bronze in the 1,000m seniors clocking a time of 1:36.753. At Star Class 4 in December in the Netherlands Jonathan Moody took bronze medal in both the 1500m (2:34.067) and 1000m (1:31.894). Jack Burrows also won the 500m, winning with a time of 43.770 seconds. The StarClass series culminates with the Europa Cup finals 24 - 26 Mar 2017 Hasselt, Belgium .
The next generation of British Short Track Speed Skaters have been competing too elsewhere. In the Turkish city of Erzurum from 11th to 18th February 2017, four British Short Track athletes represented Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival. Peter Riches, Niall Treacy, Natalie Crawford and Holly Hoyland made up a team of 17 British athletes in total aged 15-17 years old, competing across five disciplines; alpine skiing, cross country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating and snowboarding. Niall Treacy,16 from Mohawks Ice Racing Club, who is a member of the recently launched GB Short Track Academy, was selected to be flag bearer for Team GB in the opening ceremony.
Peter Riches was prevented from competing after suffering a knee injury before the racing commenced, however the first day was successful for the rest of the team who all secured 1,500m personal bests. On day two, despite challenging races, the girls also beat their 500m PB’s. In the 1,000m, Niall reached the quarter final stages and finished an impressive 11th place overall.
The team came away with improvements and learnings on and off the ice, and the support between all of the Team GB athletes over the week was outstanding.
Team leader Jon Eley said: “It’s been a huge eye opener for these young athletes to come into this environment. Each athlete has made the most of being a part of Team GB and have embrace the whole experience. They have been a credit to themselves, their parents and their coaches.”
These athletes will now focus their attentions to the British Championships at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on 1st and 2nd April 2017, an opportunity for the public to see the World Class Skaters as well as the juniors compete for the national titles on home ground.
Five senior members of the team are in training to compete at the ISU World Championships. Elise Christie, Charlotte Gilmartin, Kathryn Thomson, Joshua Cheetham and Farrell Treacy will travel to Rotterdam, the Netherlands to compete from 10th-12th March.