Last weekend, eight skaters from Great Britain competed in the Short Track Speed Skating Europa Cup Final in Budapest, Hungary. For two of the GB Short Track skaters the competition brought more medals, including overall silver for Kathryn Thomson.
The competition took the eight best skaters from each age category of the Star Class series in Western Europe and the Danubia Series in Eastern Europe and saw them compete in distances of 500m, 1000m and 1500m.
Skating from Great Britain’s World Class Programme were Kathryn Thomson, Jennifer Pickering, Jonathan Moody, Billy Simms and Josh Cheetham. Completing the eight representing the country were uprising talents, Gemma Cooper from Nottingham, Solomon Prempeh and Theo Collins from Aldwych.
Competing across all three distances, the skaters faced tough competition. Starting with the 500m event, Moody found himself in the C final finishing 10th in this distance. For the senior men, both Cheetham and Simms skated through to the B final placing 5th and 6th respectively. Looking to the ladies, a fall in her heat left Thomson in the B final finishing in 5th place in this distance, however Pickering was able to skate through to her A final where she placed 5th.
Next up, the 1500m saw things heat up. Whilst Moody made it through to the B final this time, finishing in 1st position, placing him in 7th overall in this distance, Pickering found herself back in the A final with a 5th place finish. Meanwhile in the senior age categories it was a mixed bag with Simms and Cheetham facing penalties in their races and Thomson skating her way to a gold medal.
Finally, the 1000m event saw things improve again for the team. Both Moody and Pickering found themselves in the B finals and both finished 6th overall in this distance. For the seniors, Simms crossed the line first in his B final finishing 5th overall but stealing the show in this distance, Cheetham and Thomson both made it to the A finals where Cheetham claimed a bronze medal and Thomson another gold.
This left Thomson taking overall silver in the competition with Cheetham narrowly missing out on the overall podium, ranked 4th overall and Simms finished close behind in 6th. Pickering left the competition in overall 6th and Moody in overall 7th. For fellow Brits the overall rankings left Cooper 6th, Prempeh 12th and Collins 15th in this international competition.
Kathryn Thomson said;
“Even though I didn't get to race in the 500m final after a fall in my heat, I was pleased with my overall performances. Two out of three individual gold’s and overall silver is a good way to finish the season.”
Team leader and GB Short Track Coach, Paul Worth said;
“After a challenging competition all of the athletes stepped up on the final day and produced a good performance which included a gold, bronze and a 3 second personal bests. We ended the competition with all World Class Programme athletes ranking in the top half and with an overall Silver medal it was a positive way to finish the season.”
Well done to all of the skaters who competed - we can't wait to see what next season will bring for the team!
Published: 23rd March 2016