There was more success for Great British speed skater, Elise Christie, this weekend as she claimed Silver in 500m at the ISU World Cup in Dresden, Germany.
The competition, which took place over the weekend (Friday 6th to Sunday 8th February), saw Christie follow on from her recent success at the European Championships where she took Gold in 1,500m and 500m to become overall European Champion.
Christie finished ahead of China’s Fan Kexin, who has been one of her main competitors throughout the 2014/15 ISU World Cup Series. Kexin took Bronze, while Italy’s Arianna Fontana claimed Gold, finishing a split second in front of Elise Christie.
GB Short Track Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool, commented: “Elise’s recent victory at the European Championships has made a big difference to her confidence and her overall performance this weekend. Racing on the world stage brings a different calibre of skaters, so the challenge here in Dresden was greater than at the Europeans. That didn’t stop Elise; she put in a strong performance and showed a lot of tenacity whilst racing, which has really paid off for her”.
Christie wasn’t the only GB Short Track speed skater to have a good weekend in Dresden. Jack Whelbourne was on good form and reached the A Final in the men’s 1500m event. He finished in fifth place after being taken out when trying for a medal in the last few seconds of the race by China’s Chen Dequan who took Bronze, and Korea’s Kwak Yoon-Gy who finished in fourth place.
Whelbourne commented: “I’m pleased with my performance this weekend. I feel that I’ve skated well at world level and I’m now looking forward to the World Championships in March”.
Charlotte Gilmartin skated well in the ladies B final across 1,500m, finishing second, which put her in 9th place overall.
The men’s relay team, which consisted of Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge, Jack Whelbourne and Paul Stanley worked hard across 5,000m and took second place in today’s B final, putting them in 6th place overall this weekend. Josh Cheetham also did well, reaching the semi finals in the men’s 1,500m event and claiming a top 16 finish.
Horsepool added: “We’ve seen some good racing across the board this weekend. It was unfortunate that Jack missed out on a medal right at the end of his race, but that demonstrates the unpredictability of the sport. Ultimately, we are here for the experience and to give the squad the opportunity to learn and improve on their racing technique. I’ve seen vast improvement in the quality of their skating this weekend, which is a very positive sign”.
The final event in the 2014/15 ISU World Cup Series will take place in Akzia, Turkey from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th February. Live results will be available at shorttrack.sportresult.com and the competition will be streamed live on http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html.
The GB Short Track Speed Skaters are all part are all part of the National Ice Skating Association’s World Class Short Track Programme.