GB speed skaters set to race for long track Olympic places

Olympic qualification gets underway for GB speed skaters in Poland tomorrow at the first of four World Cups.


Cornelius Kersten, Gemma Cooper and Ellia Smeding will be trying to qualify an Olympic long track quota place for Great Britain for the first time since 1992.


Kersten, who signed for Team Worldstream in the summer, will skate in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m. Cooper will go in the Mass Start and 3000m with Smeding set to race in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m.


Olympic quota places will be awarded based on results from four World Cups.


The series moves from Poland to Stavangeron, Norway on 19th-21st November. The campaign then resumes at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, United States after a two week break. The fourth and final leg will be in Calgary, Canada, on 10th-12th December.

Gemma Cooper races alongside other speed skaters.
The mass start was an exciting addition to the Olympic schedule in 2018.

The team comes into the first competition after setting a series of new national records throughout October. Kersten smashed his own previous records in the 500m and 1500m, with Smeding improving national records in each of the 500m, 1000m and 1500m.


Jon Eley, British Ice Skating Performance & Talent Manager, said: “The squad are coming into this World Cup series full of confidence.

"They have all prepared well and there promises to be some great racing to watch over the next month.

"With Olympic spots up for grabs I am really excited about what this group could achieve.”


Where to watch the World Cup Series?

You can watch all the action from each of the World Cups on Eurosport.

World Cup Series dates:

World Cup 1 – Poland (12th-14th November)

World Cup 2 – Norway (19th-21st November)

World Cup 3 – USA (3rd-5th December)

World Cup 4 – Canada (10th-12th December)