World Championship squad on form in Montreal

Britainís short track speed skaters have maintained their flying form from the Olympic  Winter Games on the opening day of the ISU World Championships in Montreal, with Elise Christie leading the way by claiming a 5th place finish in the 1500m. 

ďIím pretty pleased with that result. It was a tough race against the three Korean girls and I think the race was a bit slow for me because at the end they all had too much left in the tank and I couldnít quite get round them. But my laps times were good and itís nice to make it through the rounds safely!Ē said Christie after her race.

Elise Christie
Image courtesy of David Tyrrell

Christie faced a strong South Korean trio of Shim Suk Hee, Kim Alang and Park Seung-Hi, who went on to claim a 1-2-3 finish. In 4th place just ahead of Christie was home-crowd favourite Valerie Maltais (CAN). Performance Director Stuart Horsepool said:

ďIt was always going to be a challenge for the team coming to the Worlds so soon after the Games. Iím really pleased with how everyone has skated today and Elise especially has done a great job to overcome the adversity she faced last month, return to racing here at Worlds and finish fifth on day one.Ē

Charlotte Gilmartin improved on here result from Sochi to reach the 1500m semi-final. Gilmartin finished in 4th in her semi-final, 17th overall.  Meanwhile in the menís event, Jack Whelbourne finished second in his 1500m heat behind Charles Hamelin (CAN), but was however penalised for his undertake on Chris Creveling  (USA) during the race.

Gilmartin, 24, said: ďI feel I skated really well today and Iím really happy I managed to make the semi-final. Itís tough competition here, so it was great to still be in the mix at the end of the race and to get a better result than at the Olympics.Ē

Horsepool added: ďJack showed he is also still in good shape, which is encouraging for his remaining two events. Even though he was penalised, his style of skating and commitment to that race shows he is motivated to finish his season strongly.Ē

Richard Shoebridge, 28, finished 4th in his 1500m heat, but goes into his stronger event, the 500m, tomorrow afternoon, as well as joining Jack Whelboure, Jon Eley and Paul Stanley for the menís 5000m relay semi-final.

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