GBR squad finish Heerenveen bubble with World Champs high

Team GB put on an impressive display at the World Speed Skating Championships as a squad of three competed at the event for the first time in a generation. Competing with the world's very best long track skaters Cornelius Kersten, Gemma Cooper and Ellia Smeding all continued the form they had shown at the two previous World Cups.


The first race on an action packed Saturday was the women's mass start. Cooper made it through the semi-final with a confident performance, picking up a sprint point after the eighth lap. The final proved just as exciting with clever positioning and a strong sprint giving her an outstanding ninth place finish.

Photo Credit: International Skating Union (ISU)

Ellia Smeding put down a solid time in the 1000m. She was in the first pair to go in the race and finished in a time of 1:19.866. This performance follows a 6th and 9th in the previous World Cups.

Photo Credit: International Skating Union (ISU)

Cornelius Kersten came into the weekend having secured a new personal best and national record in the 1500m at the ISU World Cup at the end of January. He also took gold in the 1000m B-Division at the same event.


His fine form continued as he secured 11th place in the 1000m. Starting in the fifth pair he put down the fastest time at that point in the race, with it eventually being good enough for an 11th place.


He was also in action on Sunday in the 1500m, coming in 18th with a time of 1:48.457.


These brilliant results follow 5 weeks in a bio-secure bubble set up by the ISU to allow some racing to take place. The hub was set up in Heerenveen, Netherlands with skaters restricted to their hotel and the Thialf Stadium with some time allowed outside for exercise.


All three of the squad have now travelled to an international meet in Inzell, Germany to get some more racing under their belts before the season closes.

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