Christie takes gold on successful first day in Heerenveen

18 October 2014 / 21:19

Great Britain short track performance director Stuart Horsepool believes early signs of rustiness were soon swept away on day one of the 2014 Short Track Invitation Cup in Heerenveen.

The Invitation Cup, which is held in Holland, is not only the first international event of the season for GB but also a preparation competition for the squad ahead of the ISU World Cup Series, which begins next month.

And after a slow start in the early rounds, Britain’s skaters soon got to grips with proceedings with Elise Christie in particular standing out with first place in the women’s 1500m race.

She was joined on the podium by Charlotte Gilmartin who took third while Jack Whelbourne placed second in the men’s 1500m.

Sunday sees the final day of competition with Great Britain in action in the men’s and women’s 500m as well as the men’s relay finals and Horsepool was looking for another strong showing.

“The skaters didn’t do particularly well in the early rounds of the 1500m races this morning, but they improved a lot throughout the day,” he said.

“We are treating this competition as a pre-season warm up and an opportunity for the squad to hone their skills ahead of the ISU World Cup Series which is now only a few weeks away.

“By the time we’d got to the semi finals, everyone was skating well, with some strong performances beginning to shine through.

“Overall, it’s been a really useful first day and we are now looking forward to tomorrow’s racing.”

© Sportsbeat 2014