The GB Short Track speed skaters put in a good performance in Germany this weekend (24-26 October), at the first event in the 2014-15 Star Class Cup series. The squad, who are all part of NISA’s World Class Short Track Performance Programme, won one gold, five silver and one bronze medal in Dresden, along with two second place finishes and one third place finish in the overall classification.
Among those medalling were Nottingham based skaters Charlotte Gilmartin, Billy Simms, Josh Cheetham and Kathryn Thomson. Simms was on good form, taking gold in the senior men’s 1500m and silver in the 500m and 1000m, placing him second in the overall classification. Josh Cheetham followed closely behind taking third place in the overall classification after winning the silver medal in 1500m.
Charlotte Gilmartin also put in a strong performance in the senior women’s event, finishing second across 1000m and 1500m to put her in second place in the overall classification.
Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool commented: “I was really pleased with the quality of the competition in Dresden this weekend, both from the GB skaters and that of other countries. The whole idea is to go there and develop their racing skills and it has given them lots of areas to work on and develop ahead of the next race of the season.
“We’ve also come away with our fair share of medals which, combined with the experience they’ve gained from the competition, makes for a successful weekend of racing”.
Kathryn Thomson claimed the bronze medal in the women’s senior 500m race, placing her in fifth place in the overall classification, while Jack Burrows showed consistency by finishing in the top eight in all of his races.
The event was 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 fastest eight skaters from East and West Europe will go on to compete at the Junior Europa Cup Final in Germany on 20-22 March 2015.
Stuart added: “Overall, the squad showed that they have moved forward and that they’re becoming more competitive as the season goes on. In the past, they haven’t all been fast enough to keep up with some of the other skaters, but that wasn’t the case this time. They’re all moving forward and developing and I’m happy with their progress”.
The focus for the squad now turns towards their next big weekend of racing on 7-9 November when the senior squad will head to Salt Lake City for the first event in the ISU World Cup Series whilst the juniors will compete in the annual Alta Valtellina Trophy in Bormio, Italy.
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 rest of the squad will compete against the rest of Europe in the Alta Valtellina Trophy.