It has been a weekend of records being broken, including personal bests from Great Britain’s Short Track Speed Skating team. Josh Cheetham, Kathryn Thompson, Farrell Treacy and Jack Whelbourne have all improved their own times, their work over the summer paying off.
Saving her best performance until day three, Elise Christie (26), took the quarter final of the ladies 500m in a stunning world record breaking time of 42.335, smashing the previous record held by Kexin Fan of China, of 42.504. Christie had been threatening the record at World Cup 1 last weekend, achieving a personal best there of 42.565 and winning the gold medal.
The world record is a major achievement for the Christie and the GB team, and on becoming the fastest women on ice she said: “The 500m is the most exciting world record to get, it's purely about being the fastest and it's the maximum speed possible.
"It felt very smooth out there, I got away at the start with a gap, so no one was there to disturb me. It’s super cool, I knew I could do it and I am so glad to have come out of the competition with it.”
Christie had a fight on her hands with Minjeong Choi of Korea for first place in the semi final, but edged ahead for the finish with a time of 42.509. In the final, Christie raced more tactically and not just for speed, however she was caught by Kexin Fan, and unfortunately crashed out. Marianne St-Gelais of Canada went on to take the title.
Elise reflected on the final: “I was in a race against world champion skaters and it was a struggle for all of the competitors, they had to come up with ways to beat me. It was going well for me but I was unfortunate to get taken out.”
The team will now return to training in Nottingham for a few weeks before World Cup 3 in Shanghai. Elise continued: “The main goal for me this season it to become world champion, so I will continue to work on tactics and how I can achieve that.”
Charlotte Gilmartin, who narrowly missed out on a podium place in the 1500m on Saturday evening also had her chance in the 500m, reaching the quarter-finals and posting 43.176. Although not enough to progress to the semi finals, it was part of a very good overall performance for her this weekend to build on.
The ladies relay team were back for the B finals last night. A revised team of Charlotte Gilmartin, Samantha Morrison,Kathryn Thomson and Jennifer Pickering concluded GB’s WC campaign with 2nd place and 4.17.098 in the B final behind Italy.
Elise commented on the whole team performance at this world cup: “Everyone has done so well with lots of personal records and british records, everyone is skating super fast, so now it's a case of working with that speed. It's going to be exciting seeing what we can do in Asia”.
The GB team will be back for World Cup 3 from 9th-11th December in Shanghai, China. There will also be skaters competing at StarClass 4 in the Netherlands from 2nd -4th December.
Source: GB Short Track