Great British short track speed skaters, Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne were back in action at the weekend (Friday 12th - Sunday 14th December) for the Asian leg of the ISU World Cup series, as it made its way to Shanghai. There were some good performances from the skaters and whilst they didn’t medal, there was a top four finish from Elise in the 500m.
Christie finished fourth in 500m after a good performance in the quarter and semi finals where she came first and second respectively, but she fell in the final and finished behind bronze medallist, Korean Alang Kim.
Christie just missed out on a place in the 1000m semi finals after coming in a split second behind China’s Jiaying Tao in a time of 1minute, 32.29seconds, putting her in 12th place overall.
Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool commented: “It was unfortunate that Elise fell in the 500m final but short track speed skating can be very unpredictable, and falls are a common occurrence in the sport.
“The expectation this weekend was for Jack and Elise to go out to Asia and develop their racing skills, but they’re not at the height of their performance at the moment. Both Jack and Elise have been training hard, but they have had to sacrifice several weeks of training in order to compete in Asia. From a performance perspective, it was much more valuable for them to spend time competing against the rest of the world as opposed to training on home ice”.
After falling in the qualifying rounds on Friday (12th December), Whelbourne had a promising start in both 1000m and 1500m repechage heats, finishing in first place in both events. He just missed out on a place in the 1000m semi final when he finished second in the repechage semi final, coming in just behind Canada’s Samuel Girard with a time of 2minutes, 19.10seconds.
Stuart said: “I’m pleased with Jack’s performance this weekend as he’s shown a lot of grit and determination. He came back fighting from his falls on Friday and skated extremely well in the repechage quarter and semi finals. To have missed out on qualifying was bad luck, as Jack raced the semi final in a very strong time. Unfortunately, only the fastest two skaters from each race in the repechage semi finals go on to qualify for the final. If qualifications were decided on both semi final heats in the repechage rounds, Jack would have sailed through as he was much quicker than the skaters in the other race”.
Whelbourne flew through the 1000m repechage events too, where he finished in first position in both the quarter and semi finals, which secured him a place in the quarter final. He just missed out on a place in the semi final to finish 12th overall.
Stuart added: “Before heading out to Asia, Jack and Elise both had to try and cram six weeks worth of training into just two weeks, so they are fatigued at the moment. They have coped well here and even though they might not have medalled, we are not concerned with their form. I expect that they will do better in Seoul next weekend, but we need to take the whole season into account and our focus remains fixed on preparing for next year’s Championships. ”
The pair will now be looking to improve on their positions as they turn their focus to next weekend’s ISU World Cup in Seoul, South Korea.
For a full list of results from World Cup 3 in Shanghai, go to shorttrack.sportresult.com. To watch their performances from this weekend, go tohttp://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html
The pair will now be looking to improve on their scores as they turn their focus to next weekend’s ISU World Cup in Seoul, South Korea (19th to 21st December).
For more information on GB Short Track, visit www.gbshorttrack.org