Horsepool pleased with Christie and Whelbourne in Asia

Performance director Stuart Horsepool insists sacrificing training for competition is proving more than worth it after a mixed outing for British pair Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne in Shanghai.

Christie and Whelbourne were the only two British short track speed skaters to head to the Far East for the third leg of the World Cup series following the first two in Salt Lake City and Montreal.

Two-time world medallist Christie’s hard work in the early rounds of the first 500m event was rewarded as she finished fourth in the final, a fall preventing her from challenging for a medal.

Christie, who won 500m silver at last year’s worlds after a tough Olympics in Sochi, was also 12th in the 1000m as was Whelbourne in the men’s equivalent as well as ranking 21st in the 1500m.

Both will now move onto the next leg of the World Cup series in Seoul and Horsepool is adamant, while fatigued due to the demands surrounding their trip to the Far East, it is beneficial.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“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 and even though they might not have medalled, we are not concerned with their form.

“I expect that they will do better in Seoul, but we need to take the whole season into account and our focus remains fixed on preparing for next year’s championships.”

© Sportsbeat 2014