This weekend (14-16th November) the Great British Short Track speed skaters brought home their first bronze medal of the ISU World Cup 2014-15 season. The event, which took place in Montreal, Canada, saw strong performances all round from the senior team with five top 10 individual overall finishes.
The 5000m Men’s Relay team stole the show yesterday (Sunday) claiming bronze in a close final. Jon Eley, Paul Stanley, Jack Whelbourne, Richard Shoebridge and Billy Simms gave a solid performance from the start of the relay races coming in second in the heats, and then skated their way to first place in the semi-finals.
National Coach, Nicky Gooch said: “The team performed really well right from the first heats. We knocked out the Olympic champions from Russia in the first round and beat the reigning World Champions in the final. We also set a new British Record which is a great achievement. Overall it was a very good performance.”
Charlotte Gilmartin and Elise Christie also performed well this weekend with both women achieving top 10 individual overall finishes in both of their distances. Gilmartin achieved a new personal best time in the second 500m event, racing her way to fourth place overall and finished ninth overall in the 1500m.
Despite falling in her 1000m semi-final, Christie had another good weekend. She finished first in the B finals of both the 500m and 1000m, resulting in a fifth placed finish overall.
Gooch commented: “Charlotte had a very good weekend, she got a new personal best and I’d say that this is probably her best performance to date. Elise was a little unfortunate, but despite this she performed well this weekend, picking herself up and claiming two B final wins.”
Richard Shoebridge also showed a strong performance this weekend helping the men’s relay team to victory and skating his way to finishing overall seventh in the 500m. Paul Stanley had a good weekend placing eighth overall in the 500m after skating his way to third place in the B final.
Gooch commented: “Overall it has been a really positive start to the season and as a team we have done extremely well with six out of eight skaters reaching the quarter final stages. So far this season, we have broken two British Records and majority of the skaters have set new personal bests. We are starting to close the gap against some of the other world class teams and I feel that we are right where we need to be at this stage in the season.”
Next month Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne will head out to Shanghai, China for World Cup 3 on Saturday 13th December. The junior team will also be competing next month in the second Star Class event of the season in Hasselt, Belgium on 5th December.