Relay bronze for men in Seoul
Britain has claimed 5000-metre relay bronze on the final day of competition of World Cup II in Seoul (3-6 October). The quartet of Paul Stanley, Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge and Jack Whelbourne crossed the line just behind Canada and the USA in first and second place respectively, and finished ahead of World Cup points leader Russia.
The bronze is the relay team’s first World Cup medal since they won silver at the Shanghai World Cup in 2011, and comes as a timely boost for the former World Record holders ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in Torino and Kolomna next month.
Jon Eley (29) from Solihull said: “We’ve been in the mix for medals at the World Cups for a while but we haven’t quite made the podium. It’s nice to get back into the medals particularly ahead of next month and it will give us confidence going into the qualifiers.”
Elise Christie also performed well to reach another individual final, this time in the 1000m. The Livingston born skater faced tough competition in the A Final, going up against three members of the home nation, Korea, and finished in fifth place.
In the 1500m semi-final, a fall involving Christie and Jianrou Li of China in the final two laps meant the race was restarted. Christie, who was in a qualifying position, and Li were not allowed to restart and subsequently did not progress to the finals.
Performance Director Stuart Horsepool said: “Elise was ok after her fall in the 1500 and she went on to skate very well through her qualifying rounds to make the final of the 1000 metres. The three Korean’s did skate as a unit which made it incredibly difficult for her and Jorien Ter Mors of the Netherlands to get past, so with that in mind fifth place was a good result.”
Jack Whelbourne earned the Brit’s their second top eight finish of the week by placing eighth in the 500m yesterday (5 October). The 22-year-old from Nottingham also broke the British record by over a second in the 1000m today to finish ninth overall.
Horsepool added: “Jack has skated to his potential here in Seoul and it’s great to see the second British record of the week go. Last week was tough for him, but he has come back this week and really proved himself, which is a good sign for next month.
“The past two weeks of competition has been a valuable learning experience for all the skaters. Every year, the competition moves on and coming to Asia we weren’t sure how other nations were skating. After competing here, we can identify areas to work on in the run up to the next World Cup and build on our performance here.”
For the full results from World Cup I and II, please visit shorttrack.sportresult.com.