Last weekend was the season opening for long track speed skating at a competition in Inzell, Germany. Among the international competition were British skaters Ellia Smeding and Sophie Webb who made history with seven British records in the space of 48 hours.
The team of Brits, which included male skaters Scott Anderson and Cornelius Kerston, were skating against some of the world’s top skaters from countries including Germany, Russia, China, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
The skaters had set out to show that Great Britain Long Track Speed Skating has the potential to return to the Winter Olympics, and together they did just that. Whilst Scott and Cornelius both had great skates, achieving personal records, Ellia and Sophie stole the competition with their performances.
Ellia, 17, originally from Oxfordshire, broke both the senior and junior 500m British records taking them down to 43.89. She then did the same for the junior and senior 1000m records with a time of 1:27.74 before finally beating the junior 1500m record by nearly 6 seconds, taking it to 2:16.48.
Meanwhile Sophie, 23, originally from Hemel Hempstead, beat the 1500m senior British record by nearly 10 seconds to take it to 2:11.95 and the senior 3000m record by nearly 20 seconds taking it to 4:34.44.
With such great talent coming through in British long track speed skating, the National Ice Skating Association and its UK Longtrack branch are now looking for sponsors to support skaters like Scott, Cornelius, Sophie and Ellia in their training and to help the long term goal of getting Great Britain back to the Winter Olympics.
Published 16th October 2016