GB Short Track performance director Stuart Horsepool insists it’s all systems go for his skaters at this month’s European Championships after a morale-boosting showing in front of the home crowds at the ISU Star Class Cup.
This weekend’s three-day competition saw Team GB skate away with no fewer than 14 medals, including a hat-trick of golds for Elise Christie.
The Sochi 2014 Olympian raced to victory in all three of her distances – 1500m, 1000 and 500m – to top the overall classification.
Second went to teammate Charlotte Gilmartin who put in a number of consistent performances to take three silvers from her races.
The ISU Star Class Cup, the first international speed skating competition to be held at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre, was designed to give skaters the opportunity to hone their racing skills in a competitive environment.
In the men’s racing, Nottingham’s Jack Whelbourne claimed top spot in the men’s overall classification after winning a tense and exciting 1000m final on Sunday between Team GB and the Netherlands.
And with this year’s European Short Track Speed Skating Championships taking place in Dordrecht in the Netherlands from 23-25 January, Horsepool admitted it had been a worthwhile weekend all round.
“It’s easy to get carried away with medals, but we were always going to win quite a lot at this level of competition,” he said.
“Saying that, I am very pleased with the squad’s performances this weekend. There was a lot of pressure for them to do well since they were skating on home ice, and they handled that well by going out and putting in some strong performances.
“There were a few mistakes as well, but that’s to be expected and this competition is designed for them to develop their racing skills.
“The competition on home ice in Nottingham has been ideally timed as it’s been great practice for the squad and we can now get straight back on the ice and continue to prepare for the European Championships at the end of January.”
© Sportsbeat 2015