Five Titles Decided At Irish Figure Skating Championships

The 2020 Irish Figure Skating Championships concluded earlier today at the Lee Valley Ice Centre in London with titles up for grabs in five different categories over the course of the two days of competition.

Sam McAllister retained the Senior Men’s title. The Ballymoney, County Antrim skater had a shaky start in the short programme where he fell on a double Lutz-triple toe loop combination and doubled a planned triple flip, but he rallied back with a double Axel and two Level 4 spins to score 41.27 points. In contrast to the short, McAllister opened his free skating with a clean triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and went on to land a triple flip and a second triple Lutz. He earned a free score of 101.41 to give him a total of 142.68 for the gold medal.

Five-time national champion Conor Stakelum was in the lead following the short, but subsequently withdrew before the free due to illness.

There were a record number entries in the Junior Ladies category this year and Sophia Tkacheva emerged as the winner. The Gorey, County Wexford native attempted a double Axel, a double flip-double toe loop combination and a double loop in the short to earn 28.02 which put her in a close third overnight. In the free, Tkacheva opened with two jump combinations and also attempted a triple Salchow during her routine in which she amassed a score of 55.85. She finished first in the free and overall with a total of 83.87 points.

Defending champion Elizabeth Golding was leading after the short and was narrowly beaten for the title. She came second in the free to take the silver medal with a total of 83.56. In her Irish Championships debut, Dracy Condon picked up bronze as she scored 80.19 points overall.

After winning the Advanced Novice title at last year’s Irish Championships, Dillon Judge took his first Junior Men’s title with a total of 80.68 points.

On the first day of competition, Laura Hegarty won the Intermediate Novice Ladies title with a total score of 21.96.

The day before her sister became Junior Ladies champions Justina Tkacheva was the winner of the Basic Novice Ladies event with an overall score of 18.38.

Full detailed results for the 2019 Irish Figure Skating Championships are available here.

Tkacheva 28th At Dragon Trophy

Sophia Tkacheva has concluded competing at the Dragon Trophy in Ljubljana, Slovenia (1-2 February) with a 28th place finish in the Advanced Novice category.

On the first day of competition, Tkacheva performed her short programme. She attempted a single Axel, a double Lutz-double toe loop combination and a double loop. Both of her spins were graded Level 3. She received a score of 22.94 which left her in 26th place.

The following day saw the Gorey, County Wexford native appear in the free skating. She tried six jumping passes, including a triple Salchow attempt. A flying sit spin was awarded a Level 3 by the technical panel. She scored 34.52 which gave her an overall total of 57.46.

Full detailed results for the Dragon Trophy can be found here.

Tkacheva Takes On Dragon Trophy

This weekend sees Sophia Tkacheva participate in the Dragon Trophy in Ljubljana, Slovenia (1-2 February).

The figure skater from Gorey, County Wexford will compete in the Advanced Novice category and she will perform her short programme on Saturday, 1 February with the free skating taking place on Sunday, 2 February at the Hala Tivoli ice rink.

You can follow Tkacheva’s progress via the event live stream or the results page.

Conor Stakelum 34th At Europeans

Conor Stakelum (26) competed this afternoon in the short programme men’s event at the ISU (International Skating Union) European Figure Skating Championships in Graz, Austria where he placed 34th.

Stakelum skated 16th out of the 35 competitors and began his programme to “Nightshade” by The Lumineers with an attempted triple loop and followed it with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop jump combination which unfortunately resulted in a fall. However, he steadied himself as the routine progressed and his final four elements all received a positive grade of execution from the judging panel. He was awarded a score of 48.28.

As only the top 24 skaters advance to tomorrow’s free skating, the five-time senior champion has concluded his third successive participation at the European Championships today.

“I’m disappointed, but these things happen,” Stakelum said. “I’m going to go home and work on putting more difficult elements into my programmes.”

 

Conor Stakelum Skates For Ireland At European Figure Skating Championships

Conor Stakelum (26) competes at the ISU (International Skating Union) European Figure Skating Championships this week in Graz, Austria (22-26 January). This is the five-time Irish champion’s third consecutive participation at the event following his debut two years ago in Moscow, Russia where he became the first Irish male figure skater to compete in the history of the championships since they began in 1891.

Stakelum will first take part in the short programme which will be held on the morning of Wednesday, 22 January from 11:30am local time (10:30am Irish time). The day prior to the competition a draw will be held to determine his starting order of the 35 men entered. He will perform seven required elements and if his scores place him in the top 24 skaters he will advance to the free skating on Thursday, 23 January.

“I am proud to be representing Ireland at Europeans again,” Stakelum said. “I am looking forward to building on my previous two championship experiences this week in Graz.”

You will be able to follow Stakelum’s progress in Graz live on the ISU YouTube channel, the competition event page and on social media using the #EuroFigure and #FigureSkating hashtags.

The European Figure Skating Championships are being held in Graz for the first time ever, but Austria has hosted on 11 previous occasions. Stakelum will be one of 165 skaters from 33 countries who will participate in the event. Skaters have had to obtain a minimum total technical score in the short programme and free skating in an ISU competition in order to compete at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships.

2020 Winter Challenge Announcement Update

Due to an omission in the initial announcement for the 2020 Winter Challenge, an updated announcement with the addition of an interpretative category for championship level is now online here.

This additional event will not impact any of the entrants so far, but will allow skaters who hold Basic Novice and up to enter the competition.

Emerald Skate Test Session January 2020

All test applicants for the Emerald Skate Test Session on the morning of 18 January 2020 at South Dublin On Ice should have received an email showing their test group and time. There will be three test starting times (08:10/08:45/09:10). Each test group will also be posted in the ice rink on the morning of the test session.

If you have not received an email regarding the test session, please check your email junk/spam folder in the first instance. If you still have not received an email, please contact info@isai.ie for further assistance.

2019 Review: Another Exciting Year For Irish Ice Skating

The year kicked off with Ryan and Sean McAnuff becoming the first skaters from Ireland to participate in the same International Skating Union (ISU) Championships in January when they competed at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands. They retained two spots for Ireland for 2020.

At the end of January, Conor Stakelum took part in the European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus. The Dubliner posted an ISU personal best in the short programme to place 33rd.

In February, Tara Donoghue became the first Irish skater to race at the World Junior Speed Skating Championships which were held in Balsega di Pine, Italy. Her 23rd place in the 3000 metres was the highest finish yet by an Irish competitor at an ISU Championships.

The month also saw an introductory seminar for short track speed skating officials held in Dublin.

March saw Tara Donoghue  conclude her season by setting national records over the 1000 and 1500 metres at the Viking Race in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Sean McAnuff also closed out his season with a 38th place at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In July, a figure skating technical specialist seminar took place in Dublin.

In her second season competing on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit, Elizabeth Golding set Irish junior records for free skating and total scores in October at her second assignment in Egna, Italy.

Tara Donoghue competed in the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating event in Enschede, Netherlands and earned a spot for Ireland at the 2020 Youth Olympics becoming the first Irish skater to accomplish this feat.

At the Canadian International Invitational in Montreal, Canada in December, Ava Ryan booked her place at the 2020 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships. She will be the first female short track speed skater from Ireland to participate at an ISU Championships.

Irish Figure And Short Track Teams Selected For 2020 Europeans

The Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) has selected the skaters who will represent Ireland at the 2020 European Figure Skating Championships in Graz, Austria (20-26 January) and the 2020 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary (24-26 January).

Conor Stakelum will compete in the men’s singles category at the European Figure Skating Championships alongside the cream of European skating talent. In order to qualify for the championships, each competitor had to obtain a set of minimum technical scores at International Skating Union (ISU) international competitions during the previous and/or current seasons.

This is the third consecutive year that the Dundee-based athlete will make an appearance at the European Championships. In January 2018, he became the first Irish male skater to participate in the prestigious championships which were first held in 1891.

“I am very happy to have been selected for my third European Championships and I hope to build on my experience from the previous two championships in Austria,” Stakelum said.

Ryan and Sean McAnuff will also be flying the flag for Ireland later on the same week at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Hungary. The brothers were the first Irish speed skaters to compete internationally. At the last edition of Europeans in Dordrecht, Netherlands, two spots for Ireland were secured for the second consecutive year. Ryan is currently a medical student at the University of Limerick, while Sean is based in Canada.

“I am extremely excited to be representing Ireland alongside my brother at another European Championships,” Ryan said. “I can’t wait to take on some of the top skaters in the world!”

“This season I have been working a lot on making the most out of each race, each competition and each practice I do,” Sean said. “I have been trying out new strategies and working on and improving my technique a lot. I am really looking forward to applying all these lessons I have learned at the European Championships in January.”

McAllister 9th At Bosphorus Cup

Sam McAllister (21) competed this weekend at the Bosphorus Cup in Istanbul, Turkey where he represented Ireland in the Senior Men’s event.

The Irish senior champion began with the short programme on Friday, 29 November. Skating to “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck, he attempted a triple Lutz combination and landed a double Axel. He garnered a Level 4 for his closing change foot combination spin and scored 43.33 points which put him in 11th place.

McAllister was back on the ice on Saturday, 30 November for the free skating. In his “Pirates of the Caribbean” routine, he included four triple jumps and received Level 4 for a change foot combination spin. He was awarded a free score of 95.14 giving him a total of 138.47 and 9th place overall.

Full results for the Bosphorus Cup can be found here.