In the early hours of this morning, GB Short Track skaters Jack Whelbourne, Richard Shoebridge, Charlotte Gilmartin and Elise Christie took to the ice for the first day of the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Seoul, Korea.
Today was all about the qualifiers as skaters from around the world competed in preliminaries and heats for 500, 1000 and 1500 metre distances.
Starting with the 1500m event, both Whelbourne and Christie crossed the line first in their heats whilst Gilmartin 2nd and Shoebridge 4th in theirs. This means that Whelbourne, Christie and Gilmartin have qualified to tomorrow’s 1500m events.
Next up were the 500m events. For the men, skating in the preliminaries it was a mixed bag as Jack Whelbourne skated strongly through his preliminary and heat finishing 2nd and 1st in each respectively. Meanwhile a fall on the last lap meant that Shoebridge did not advance through the quarterfinals in this distance.
For the ladies, both Christie and Gilmartin gave strong performances with Christie finishing 1st in both her preliminary and heat with the fastest times of all skaters. Gilmartin went from a 2nd place finish in her preliminary to crossing the line in 1st place in her heat. Whelbourne and both ladies will appear in tomorrow’s 500m quarters and semi-final races with hopes of reaching the A finals.
The final event for the day was the 1000m distance preliminaries and heats. Both men finished 2nd in their preliminary races and went on to a 4th place finish in heats for Shoebridge and a 1st place finish in heats for Whelbourne; who also had the second quickest time of all skaters in the heats.
Moving on to the ladies races it was straight into the heats. Christie and Gilmartin had 1st and 3rd place finishes in their races respectively. Christie will join Whelbourne in Sunday’s 1000m ranking races.
After the first day of competition, GB Short Track Performance Director, Stewart Laing said;
“It’s been a solid set of performances from the skaters today. We’ve qualified three skaters into the main event who raced convincingly thought the prelims and heats. Elise is the fastest girls here today in the 500m, Jack second fasts boy in the 1000m, and Charlotte is repeating her form from earlier this season. It’s about refocusing for tomorrow with quarters, semis and finals for 500m and 1500m in one day. Obviously we are disappointed with Richards fall in the 500m but that is the nature of Short Track Speed Skating.”
Full results from today’s skating can be found here: shorttrack.sportresult.com
Published: 11th March 2016