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Double bronze in World Cup series for Charlotte Gilmartin

GB Short Track Speed Skater, Charlotte Gilmartin has just picked up her second bronze medal of the ISU World Cup series 2016/2017. The event this weekend in Minsk, Belarus was the 6th and final world cup of the season.

For the 26 year old British skater, this year has been a major success. Winning bronze in the 500m at the European Championships in January was the start of a medal haul. Charlotte then took bronze in the 1,500m at World Cup 5 in Germany last weekend, and despite missing out on a medal in the final of the 1,500m here in Minsk yesterday, she showed her strength in the shorter distances again, this time the 1,000m (2), taking bronze today.

Yutong Han of China won the 1,000m (2) gold in 1:31.008, followed by silver for Rianne De Vries of the Netherlands. Charlotte’s bronze medal winning time was 1:31.241.

Charlotte summed up how she felt after collecting her medal today:“It wasn’t my expectation to win a medal today in the 1,000m, but an opportunity to gain more experience in the distance. I am feeling really good going into the World Championships and especially knowing I have now won a medal in every distance this season.”

It’s her first double medal win in a world cup series, and 6th consecutive A final. In the world cup end of season rankings, Charlotte has secured her best ever overall ranking position of 4th place in the 1,500m. The 2016/2017 top spot goes to Suk Hee Shim of Korea, followed by Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands, and 3rd to Kim Boutin of Canada.

Speaking about the year so far as team captain, Charlotte went said:“It’s been a big year for GB Short Track. We’ve brought new athletes onto the team and we’ve been through lots of changes with new staff as well. We’ve gained strength from the changes, and particularly made big steps in the girls relay team. It’s been an exciting and productive year and we’re looking forward to the future.”

Great Britain’s 21 year old Kathryn Thomson showed promise once again at world cup level. Following her 1,000m (1) semi final yesterday, putting her in a personal best 8th place overall in the distance classification, she reached the quarter final stage of the 500m event today, finishing 3rd in her race. Ye Jin Kim of Korea later won the 500m gold medal.

Coach Seung Jae Lee said:“The last world cup was very positive for the team. New skaters joined the series, and the junior boys have particularly made great improvements even from last weekend to this. Charlotte has performed well and made very good progress too in the 1,000m as well as the 1,500m so it’s been really positive. We will continue the work we have put in place.”

The younger skaters will now draw on their world cup experiences for the next ISU StarClass event next weekend in Torino, Italy. They reflected on their experiences at world cup 5 and 6.

Aydin Djemal said:“I really enjoyed my first two world cups, particularly in Dresden gaining 5,000m relay experience amongst some of the world’s best skaters. I’ve got the StarClass coming up next and want to make the most of the racing experience.”

Jonathan Moody added:“This weekend was good for me, I feel like I progressed even from last weekend, and have also learned a lot from watching the seniors race. The energy was good in the team and I feel like I made improvements, and I’m now focused on the Star Class event next weekend.”

Coach Seung Jae Lee will travel with Aydin Djemal, Jonathan Moody, Jack Burrows, Jennifer Pickering and Hannah Morrison for StarClass 6 in Italy 17th - 19th February.

Despite time out from the last two world cup events, 500m world record holder Elise Christie ends the world cup series ranked 2nd place overall in the 500m, behind Marianne St Gelais of Canada, and 3rd place overall in the 1,000m behind Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands and Min Jeong Choi of Korea.

GB Short Track Performance Director Stewart Laing commented:“There have been some really impressive performances at the world cup this weekend. Charlotte medaling in the 1000m wasn’t expected so it was fantastic to see her achieve that.

"Kathryn has had two of her best results here, an 8th and 11th, and was unfortunate not to make it through to an A or B final. The new men on the team, Jack, Jonathan and Aydin, have raced like never before which is really promising for their development going forwards.

"Although Elise hasn't been here this week due to unforeseen medical circumstances, we’re still looking really positive for the World Championships. We’ll now go back and complete our last section of training before heading out to Rotterdam.”

The ISU World Championships take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 10th-12th March 2017.