January 2023 will be a busy month with Ireland represented at both Short Track Speed Skating and Figure Skating European Championships.
Sean McAnuff and Liam O’Brien will race at Short Track Europeans between 13-15 January at the Hala Olivia in Gdansk, Poland. McAnuff finished 35th at the World Championships in Montreal, Canada back in April. It will be his fourth appearance at Europeans.
“I am really excited to compete the upcoming European Championships as it will be my first time in Poland,” McAnuff said. “I took most of this past year off to relax and reflect on why I would like to continue to pursue a career in speed skating. I came to the conclusion going into this competition I find it rewarding to achieve goals I set out for myself. I want to strive to race to the best of my ability and encourage other to do the same while strengthening friendships to be more involved in the skating community.”
O’Brien has had a great season so far. In back to back outings at World Cups in Almaty, Kazakhstan, he set a new national record in the 1000 metres and also became the first Irish skater to race in a World Cup semi-final at any distance.
“I’m excited to get the opportunity to race at Europeans,” O’Brien said. “I can’t wait to head back to Poland where I skated my first competition and previous European Championships for Ireland. I hope to build on the performance from World Cup 4 and aim towards the championship main event.”
After missing out on the previous two editions through cancellation and illness respectively, Sam McAllister makes his European debut at the Metro Areena in Espoo, Finland with the championships taking place 23-29 January. He will become only the third skater to represent Ireland at the event since it began back in 1891.
“I am beyond excited and ready for Europeans,” McAllister said. “I have never travelled to Finland before so I’m looking forward to also visiting a new country. I am planning to go and enjoy this event and gain more experience.”
ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2023 – Gdansk, Poland (13-15 January)
Men: Sean McAnuff, Liam O’Brien
ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2023 – Espoo, Finland (23-29 January)
Men: Sam McAllister