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First ever female British podium finish at European Long Track Speed Skating Championships

At the European Sprint Championships which took place in Hamar, Norway, 6/7 January, 24 year old Ellia Smeding took third place in the 1,000 metres. It was the first ever podium finish for a female British skater at a title tournament in long track speed skating.


Smeding skated a solid tournament. After a 7th place in the 500 metres and a 5th place in the 1000 metres, she was 6th in the intermediate classification after the first day. She also managed to hold her position on the second day. After an 8th place in the 500 metres, Ellia, who skates with international skating collective Team Novus surprised with a fantastic 3rd place in the final 1000 metres. Only being beaten by Dutch title favourites Jutta Leerdam and Femke Kok.


"I feel I am getting to a higher level and I feel really good in the new environment of Team Novus. That I finished with a 1000-metre podium was a surprise on the one hand, but also a confirmation of my hard work. I am so happy with this result and it really motivates me to take the next steps."


After this tournament, Smeding will prepare, with her partner and British teammate Cornelius Kersten who is returning from injury and therefore could not make his mark this weekend, for the World Distance Championships in March. There, she hopes to put in a good performance in both the 1000 and 1500 meter events. Smeding and Kersten made their debut at the Beijing Olympics in February and also hope to compete for Team GB in Milan in 2026.


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