Great Britain Short Track performance director Stuart Horsepool insists it is all systems go for the new World Cup season after announcing his squad for the 2014-15 campaign.
Britain’s top speed skaters had their first competitive fixture of the season at this weekend’s National Squad Open Trials taking 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 in order to reaffirm their position on the national squad for this coming competitive season.
All the Team GB skaters who competed at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics demonstrated their ability and determination to be successful during the upcoming season, with Elise Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin taking overall first and second positions respectively in the women’s event, and Jack Whelbourne, Jon Eley and Richard Shoebridge taking the top three podium places in the men’s event.
All five made the eight-strong squad selected for the first World Cup in Salt Lake City in November, with Josh Cheetham, Paul Stanley, Billy Simms and 18-year-old Kathryn Thomson completing the team.
“Considering that this was the first event of the season following an Olympic year, I’m happy with the performances this weekend, but there was some rustiness amongst the skaters which needs to be improved before World Cup One in November,” Horsepool said.
“We mustn’t forget our successes of last season, and with that in mind, we will now be looking towards the World Cup with a view to polishing up the skaters’ performances from a speed, tactics and skills point of view.
“We have one more competitive event in the form of the Invitation Cup in October where we will focus on preparation for the first event in the ISU World Cup Series.
“We have a strong squad going into the competitive season. They have worked exceptionally hard over the summer months and the times they were skating at trials are a good indicator that preparations have gone well.”
© Sportsbeat 2014