Today, in the final day of the ISU World Short Track Championships, GB Short Track leaves the competition in Seoul on a high with three skaters securing top 10 positions including a 3rd place world ranking for Elise Christie.
Having faced tough races in the first two days of qualifiers and competition, the team were able to hold strong against the best skaters in the world, making it through to A and B finals in the 500m and 1500m distances.
For Jack Whelbourne, returning from a season disrupted by injury, Saturday’s events saw him survive various knocks to finish 5th and 6th in the 500 and 1500 metres respectively. Today having qualified for the 1000m event, Whelbourne raced a competitive field in the quarter finals but was penalised going into the corner on lap 7. This meant that he missed out on the 3000m Super Final but with Saturday’s performance on his side, he still placed an amazing 9th overall in the final world ranking.
Charlotte Gilmartin put tactics into action throughout the competition and once again was able to avoid various bumps and knocks on Saturday. Her strong and well planned performance put her 6th in the 500m and 4th in the 1500m events. Having failed to qualify for the 1000m event, Gilmartin was able to race today in the ranking races for the 1000m and made it possible for her to finish in 10th place overall in the world ranking.
Finally, looking to current European Champion Elise Christie, yesterday was a mixed bag as she was knocked out of the 500m event in the quarter finals but skated to a bronze medal in the 1500m event. Today, having qualified for the 1000m event against some of her toughest competition on the world scene, Christie executed her race tactics brilliantly remaining in the top two throughout the race and picking up a 2nd place and silver medal behind Korean, Choi. Skating through to the 3000m Super Final, her last race of the competition saw her tactically skate to a 3rd place finish.
Two days of strong skates from Christie leaves her with an overall bronze medal ranked 3rd in the world. Elise Christie said;
“It didn’t all go to plan at this Championships but I am walking away with a silver and a bronze medal in the individuals and third place ranking overall. It’s brought a tough year to a close and now we will head back home, review the season and look for the elements to improve on next year.”
Christie’s coach and Head Coach of GB Short Track, Nick Gooch said;
"I'm really proud of the way the athletes performed. Charlotte Gilmartin has made big progress throughout the season and Jack Whelbourne has shown great resilience to overcome injury and perform with so little preparation. Although perhaps missing some opportunities to walk away with gold, Elise has still had the best World Championships of her career to date."
The teams overall performance at this year’s World Championships means that Great Britain will now qualify for three ladies positions for next year’s World Championships, a great feat for British Short Track Speed Skating. The squad’s Performance Director, Stewart Laing said;
"This Championships rounds off the season for the seniors with a great set of results. We didn't execute everything we aimed to, so it’s exciting to end the season knowing we have the potential to deliver more. We have great coaches and support staff who have worked tirelessly this year to support the athletes in what's been a year of change for the World Class Programme. As we move forward with the plans for growth and development of Short Track Speed Skating in Great Britain, I'm really thankful to UK Sport and the National Lottery for continuing to support our athletes and programme."
Full results from the competition can be found here: shorttrack.sportresult.com
Published: 13th March 2016