Eley and Christie take titles at British Championships

28 May 2014
Britainís top speed skaters were undefeated at their first competitive fixture since the ISU World Championships this weekend, 25-26 May, as the British Speed Skating Championships took place at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.


The two day event saw current members of the GB Short Track squad compete amongst themselves and against skaters from across the UK to claim the British title. Elise Christie finished top in the senior ladies classification, closely followed by team mate Charlotte Gilmartin. Nottingham speed skater, Gemma Cooped took third place.

In the menís event, Jon Eley took the title with team mates Richard Shoebridge and Josh Cheetham taking second and third place respectively.

Performance Director for the squad, Stuart Horsepool commented: ďIt was good for the squad to get back on the ice to compete this weekend. The British Championships usually takes place in January, but it was postponed this year to ensure it didnít coincide with the Sochi Winter Olympics. The timing has been ideal for us as it has enabled the athletes to get back into competing after a short break from the ice.

ďThe nature of short track means that you have to be sharp when you race, so these competitions are critical for Jon, Elise and the rest of the squad to perfect their technique.Ē

The junior athletes also did well at the weekend, with the junior menís event seeing Farrell Treacy take top spot in a very competitive 500m race. Kathryn Thomson raced well to finish first in the junior ladies event.

Stuart added: ďIím pleased with how the squad performed this weekend, and weíre now looking forward to training hard on the ice as we build up to the 2014-15 season. True value of this competition is not the titles the athletes have won here, but the race practice that they and the squad now take forward with themĒ.

The British Speed Skating Championships culminated in a presentation to Jon Eley in recognition of his Team Captain and Flagbearer duties at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Three skaters, Jack Whelbourne, Jon Eley and Elise Christie were also awarded with Diplomas for their finishing positions in their respective races in Sochi.

The team are now awaiting news of the UK Sport funding for the next four year cycle, which will conclude with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. This announcement is expected later this Summer.

For further information on GB Short Track, please visit www.gbshorttrack.org.