Stakelum 28th At Warsaw Cup

Conor Stakelum (28) has finished in 28th place at the Warsaw Cup in Poland.

Stakelum began the competition with the short programme. He opened with a triple loop attempt and went on to land a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination and a double Axel. He was awarded a Level 4 for a flying sit spin and received a score of 52.25 points for the segment which had him sitting in 28th place overnight.

The following afternoon Stakelum was back on the ice at the Torwar Arena for the free skating. He attempted a triple flip to open his routine and landed a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination and a solo triple toe loop later on in the programme. He earned 87.30 points for the free giving him a combined total of 139.55 to remain in 28th place overall.

Stakelum Set For Warsaw Cup

Conor Stakelum (28) competes this weekend at the Warsaw Cup in Poland (18-20 November), an ISU Challenger Series event.

Stakelum will start with the short programme on Thursday evening (18 November) with the free skating taking place on Friday afternoon (19 November).

“My goal for this competition is to continue to get used to competing again and to perform how I do in training,” Stakelum said.


Irish Skaters Make Strides At Tayside Trophy

A five-strong team of Irish figure skaters competed over the weekend at the Tayside Trophy in Dundee, Scotland (6-7 November).

First to take to the ice was Sophia Tkacheva in the Junior Women’s Short Programme who skated last weekend in the Tirnavia Ice Cup in Slovakia. She attempted a double Axel, a double Lutz-double toe loop and a double flip in her routine and also executed a Level 4 change foot combination spin. She scored 28.23 points to put herself in ninth place.

Robyn Foster followed Tkacheva in the same category in her debut event representing Ireland. She tried a double Axel, a triple Salchow jump combination and a double flip and her change foot combination spin was also graded Level 4. At the end of the short, Foster was a whisker ahead of Tkacheva in eighth place on 28.24 points.

In the Junior Women’s Free Skating the next day, Tkacheva appeared first skating to “Voila” by Barbara Pravi. She opened with a triple Salchow attempt and also included three jump combinations in her programme. She received a score of 51.07 points for a total of 79.30 which left her in tenth place in the final standings.

“Today wasn’t my best skate for sure and I made some silly mistakes,” Tkacheva said. “I am happy that I attempted my triple Salchow. I just need to learn to combine the hard jumps and the doubles and to stay focused no matter what happens during the programme and to work on my elements overall.”

Foster skated right after Tkacheva and commenced with a double Axel attempt and she also successfully landed a second one later on in her routine to “Scheherazade” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Two of her spins were deemed Level 3 by the technical panel and she posted a free score of 63.38 which moved her up into seventh overall with a total of 91.62 points.

“It was a really good experience to skate for Ireland,” Foster said. “Even though I made some mistakes, I got a personal best, so I know there is so much more room for improvement next time. I’m going to work on being more confident with my Axels and enjoying my programmes to the fullest.”

Dillon Judge was the sole Irish entrant in the Junior Men’s category. In the short programme, he started with a triple salchow-double toe loop combination and went on to land a double Axel and a double flip. He was awarded a score of 38.81 which was a new personal best and had him in second place overnight.

Judge performed to a medley of Jamie Callum songs for his free skating and he opened with a solo triple Salchow which he followed with a double Axel. He also tried to go for a triple Salchow combination later on in the routine and his step sequence was given a Level 3. A free score of 57.87 gave him a total of 96.68 and he maintained his second place in the standings.

“The short programme went very well,” Judge said. “The only slight error was the combo spin where I stumbled, so the next time I’ll improve on that. In the free skating there were quite a few errors which I’m not the most happy with, but the highlight of the programme was the double Axel because I showed the quality of what I can do. Next time I hope that I can improve the consistency of the jumps throughout the programme.”

Conor Stakelum and Sam McAllister were the final two Irish skaters in action as they lined up in the Senior Men’s event. Stakelum was the first to skate in the short programme. He doubled a planned triple loop, but came back with a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination and a double Axel. Two of his spins received Level 4 and he scored 49.05 to place ninth in the segment.

McAllister took to the ice in the following group of skaters and began with a triple flip before attempting a triple Lutz combination. He also landed a double Axel and two spins in his routine got a Level 4 from the technical panel. A score of 45.25 left him in 12th place going into the free skating.

Skating to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film soundtrack, McAllister was first to perform in the free skating. He started with a triple Lutz and a double Axel and then went on to attempt a double Axel-triple toe loop combination, a triple Salchow and a triple Lutz sequence among other elements. He achieved Level 4 for both a flying sit spin and a change foot combination spin and garnered 87.33 points for the free which gave him a total of 132.58 and 11th place overall.

“I had a good start in the free today, McAllister said. “It’s still only my second competition since the whole pandemic began. I’m looking forward to getting out there again at my next event in Poland later this month.”

Stakelum was the final Irish skater to take to the ice at the Tayside Trophy. He performed his free to “Riverdance” by Bill Whelan and embarked with triple flip and triple loop attempts. He landed a triple Salchow and a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination midway through the routine and also was given Level 4 for his flying sit spin and change foot combination spin. He scored 91.11 points for the free which meant he had a total of 140.16 and final placement of tenth.

“I was a bit disappointed with my short programme, missing things that are quite easy for me,” Stakelum said. “Although the free skating had a lot of messy elements, it’s the hardest programme I have ever gone for and landed my flip. There are lots of positives to take forward and I just need to polish things up now.”

Tkacheva 14th At Tirnavia Ice Cup

Irish figure skater Sophia Tkacheva (15) has finished 14th at the Tirnavia Ice Cup in Trnava, Slovakia.

Tkacheva began her competition with the short programme. She attempted a double Axel and landed a double Lutz-double toe loop combination  at the start of her routine. Both a flying sit spin and a change foot combination spin were graded Level 4. She earned a new personal best of 34.15 and stood in 11th place at the halfway point of the event.

The following day in the free skating segment she tried a triple Salchow to open her programme and later on attempted a double Axel. She also included two jump combinations and three other double jumps on their own. All three of her spins received Level 3. Her free score of 56.54 was another personal best and gave her a total of 90.69 points.

Golding 11th At Autumn Talents Cup

Elizabeth Golding (17) has finished in 11th place at the Autumn Talents Cup (27-30 October) in Kyiv, Ukraine.

On the first day of the competition, Golding took to the ice in the Junior Women’s Short Programme. She attempted a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, a double flip and a double Axel. Her layback spin was graded Level 4 by the technical panel and she received a segment score of 32.43 to put herself in 10th place overnight.

Golding returned the following day for the free skating. At the beginning of her programme, she went for a triple Salchow twice and shortly after a triple toe loop-Euler-double Salchow sequence. A change foot combination spin garnered her Level 4 and she earned 59.65 points for her to give her a total score of 92.08.


McAllister 11th At Budapest Trophy

Sam McAllister (23) has marked his return to competition with an 11th finish at the Budapest Trophy in Budapest, Hungary today.

McAllister began with the short programme yesterday where he performed to “Good News” by Apashe. He opened with a triple flip before attempting a triple Lutz jump combination. In the second half of his routine, he landed a double Axel and executed a Level 4 flying sit spin. He scored 51.63 points to put himself in 11th overnight.

In the free skating McAllister commenced with a triple Lutz-Euler-double flip jump sequence. Skating to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film soundtrack, he also included a double Axel-triple toe loop combination as well three other triple jumps. All three of his spins were graded Level 4 by the technical panel. He earned a free score of 101.58 to give him a total of 153.21 and remained in 11th place.

“Overall, I’m super happy with how I performed,” McAllister said. “Even though they were not my best skates, it was such a great feeling being back out competing again. I achieved my goal of getting three Level 4 spins which I am really happy about as it’s something I have never done before.”

McAllister Returns To The Ice At Budapest Trophy

A mere 598 days since his last competition Sam McAllister (23) is back on competition ice this week at the Budapest Trophy (14-17 October) in Hungary.

McAllister’s last competitive appearance was at the Irish Figure Skating Championships in 2020 when he won his second Senior title and he is relishing the opportunity of performing again.

“I am looking forward to going out to Hungary and enjoying  my first competition back after no competitions for 18 months.”

While he has not been able to compete, McAllister has been using the time to work hard on improvements to the technical aspect of his skating.

“I have recently got three Level 4 Spins and I would be really happy if I could do them in either of my performances that would be a great achievement for me.”

McAllister will skate in the short programme tomorrow afternoon (14 October) and in the free skating on Friday afternoon (15 October). The Budapest Trophy will be streamed live on the Hungarian National Skating Federation’s YouTube channel.

Golding and Judge Round Out Junior Grand Prix Campaign

Irish skaters Elizabeth Golding and Dillon Judge have finished 33rd and 22nd in their respective events at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Cup of Austria in Linz, Austria this weekend.

Judge was the first of the two Irish competitiors to take to the ice inside the Linz AG Eisarena. In the men’s short programme on Day One, he attempted a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, a double Axel and a double flip and received a score of 32.75 for his routine.

The following evening Judge was back for the free skating. He began with a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, a double Axel and a Level 3 flying sit spin. He also included solo triple Salchow and second double Axel attempts as well as two other jump combinations in his routine to a medley of songs by Jamie Callum. He scored 59.73 points for the free to give him an overall total of 92.48.

“It was only my second international competition in two years,” Judge said. “Physically I am getting stronger and it is great to be competing with some of the best in the world. I have learned a lot from my performances and watching those around me. It will help me and my coach plan for next year and the requirements to improve my scores and what my new routines will need.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my Junior Grand Prix experiences and the environment with being immersed in an event with people focused on showing the best skating has to offer.

“For the rest of the season I will be working on increasing my strength and stamina. I will also be working also on my jumps and spins.”

Two years had elapsed since the last time Golding competed at a Junior Grand Prix when she stepped on to the ice in Linz for the women’s short. She attempted a triple Salchow combination, a triple flip and a double Axel in her “Hip Hip Chin Chin” programme which she closed out with a Level 4 change foot combination spin. She earned a score of 25.16 points which had her sitting in 34th midway through the event.

In the free, Golding opened with triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, solo triple Salchow and triple toe loop attempts. She had both her change foot combination and layback spins graded Level 4 by the technical panel. A free score of 52.58 points gave her a final total of 77.74 and she moved up to finish in 33rd overall.

“My two performances this week were far from my best and I am nowhere near happy with them,” Golding said. “Coming out of a back injury I was healing from this summer was hard and I wasn’t able to train to my full capacity, but I never thought it would be this tough. It was a great experience and life lesson for me. I am learning to take the negatives out of situations and turning them into positives that I can work on.

“I am working on getting my jumps back to their normal state without hurting my back and overall working on being able to execute the jumps that I can do confidently in training under a stressful competition environment.”

Performance Videos

Elizabeth Golding Short Programme

Elizabeth Golding Free Skating

Dillon Judge Short Programme

Dillon Judge Free Skating

Golding And Judge Set For Final Junior Grand Prix

Elizabeth Golding (17) and Dillon Judge (17) represent Ireland this week at the final ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating for this season in Linz, Austria (7-9 October).

This is Golding’s third season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit and Linz is where she made her JGP debut back in 2018. She will take to the ice this Friday, 8 October just before noon Irish time in the Women’s Short Programme and again in the afternoon of Saturday, 9 October in the Women’s Free Skating.

“My goals for the JGP this year are to perform cleanly (with regard to spins, step sequences and transitions) and to show good attempts of the new triple jumps I have learnt this year, as well as get the minimum scores for Worlds,” Golding said.

Judge made his JGP debut last month in Kosice, Slovakia where he finished in 21st place. He performs tomorrow evening Thursday, 7 October in the Men’s Short Programme and will be back the following evening Friday, 8 October for the Men’s Free Skating.

“I lost some significant points due to small errors at the JGP in Slovakia,” Judge said. “Using the feedback received from the judges, my coach Margaret (O’Neill) and I have used this to help improve for my performance this week in Austria.”

The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series features skaters aged 13 to 19 (21 for male Ice Dance and Pair Skating partners) from all over the world. The 2021/2022 season marks the 24th edition of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating that was introduced in 1997. This season more than 300 skaters from over 50 different nations have competed in the series.

This week’s Junior Grand Prix in Linz, Austria will be broadcast live on the ISU’s dedicated YouTube channel. Direct links for each of the segments are as follows:

Men’s Short Programme (7 September)

Women’s Short Programme (8 September)

Men’s Free Skating (8 September)

Women’s Free Skating (9 September)

The conversation about the series can also be followed by using the #JGPFigure hashtag on social media.

Stakelum 29th At Nebelhorn Trophy

Earlier today Conor Stakelum (28) concluded the second of two consecutive days of competition at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, the final qualifying event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, finishing in 29th outside of a quota place.

Stakelum skated in the first warm-up group of the short programme yesterday morning where he debuted his new routine to “Soulseeker” by Thomas Bergersen. This season he is including the triple flip jump which he successfully landed as well as a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination. After an uncharacteristic mistake on a double Axel, he rallied to to execute a Level 4 flying sit spin and a Level 3 step sequence to earn 53.01 points for the segment.

For the free skating this season, Stakelum has chosen to perform to music from “Riverdance” by Bill Whelan. After a cautious start, he delivered a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, a triple Salchow on its own followed by a Level 4 flying sit spin and a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination. He closed out the programme with a Level 4 change foot combination spin. He scored 87.66 for a combined total of 140.67 points.

“I am happy to have competed again after such a long time off,” Stakelum said. “This was the first free programme I have done in competition since November 2019, so 21 months!

“All the same I am disappointed that I couldn’t perform as well as I have been training. I was glad to get a triple flip out in the short which is new for me.

“I am looking forward to showing what I can do at more competitions this season.”

Seven skaters from the United States, France, Russia, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Australia and Canada claimed the remaining quota places available for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.