Stakelum Fourth, McAllister Fifth At Tayside Trophy

The past two days saw Irish figure skaters Sam McAllister and Conor Stakelum compete at the Tayside Trophy in Dundee, United Kingdom.

Stakelum was the first to take to the ice for the Senior Men’s short programme on Day One of the competition in the Scottish city. Skating to “Nightshade” by The Lumineers, he included a triple loop, triple toe loop/triple toe loop combination and a double Axel in his routine. He also executed three Level 4 spins and a Level 4 step sequence to rack up a new Irish record score of 61.54 to put himself in third place.

McAllister skated immediately after Stakelum and performed to “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He landed a triple Lutz/double toe loop combination, a triple flip and a double Axel. He had two of his spins graded Level 4 and notched up a new personal best of 59.49 to put himself in fourth place.

The following day the competitors turned up for the free skating. Stakelum debuted another new programme, this time to “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed. He attempted five triple jumps during his four-minute free and received Level 4 for all three of his spins. He was awarded a score of 100.12 to give him a final total of 161.66 and fourth place.

McAllister also unveiled a new routine to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film soundtrack. He tried five triple jumps as well as two double Axels. He earned 95.33 points for the free which gave him an overall score of 154.82 and fifth place.

You can see detailed results for the Tayside Trophy here.

2019-2020 Irish Figure Skating Team Announced

The selection of the Irish Figure Skating National Team for the 2019-2020 season has been made by the Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI).

The following ISAI members have been chosen to represent Ireland on the international stage at International Skating Union (ISU) events:

Senior Men – Sam McAllister

Senior Men – Conor Stakelum

Junior Ladies – Elizabeth Golding

Advanced Novice Ladies – Sophia Tkacheva

Sam McAllister won his first Senior National title in April this year in his first full season as a senior competitor. From Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, he is coached by Margaret O’Neill in Nottingham and Sheffield, England.

Conor Stakelum is a five-time Senior National champion. A native of Dublin, he trains in Dundee, Scotland with Simon and Debi Briggs. He finished 33rd at this year’s European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

Elizabeth Golding picked up her first Junior Ladies title at the Irish Figure Skating Championships in April. She is coached in Moscow, Russia by Alexandra Chistiakova.

Sophia Tkacheva has been selected for the first time as a member of the Irish National Team. From Gorey, County Wexford, this year she claimed Irish Championships silver at Advanced Novice level.

Sam McAllister Closes Out Season At Skate Victoria

Newly crowned Irish champion Sam McAllister put a line under his season this weekend when he competed at Skate Victoria in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Read more

Member Workshop

A two hour members workshop will be held from 14.00hrs at the Premier Inn London Stratford Hotel, London on Sunday, 31 March. The workshop will cover membership of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland, rules and regulations, competitions and national team selection. Please contact info@isai.ie for further details.

Sean McAnuff 38th At World Short Track

Ireland’s Sean McAnuff has finished in 38th place overall at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships this weekend in Sofia, Bulgaria.

On the first of three days of racing, McAnuff participated in the qualifying rounds. In the 1500 metres quarterfinals, he lined up in Heat 4 and came home in fifth in a time of  2:23.770. Next up were the 500 metres preliminaries where he finished third in Heat 5 with a time of 43.333 and advanced to the heats. He posted a quicker time of 43.277 in Heat 2 to end up in fifth. The 1000 metres preliminaries ended up being his final race of the opening day and he placed fourth in Heat 1 in a time of 1:31:968.

There were two ranking finals for McAnuff on the second day of competition inside the Arena Armeec. In Heat 3 of the 1500 metres, he crossed the line in first place in a time of 2:37.283. He backed that result up by coming second in Heat 6 of the 500 metres where he clocked 43.440.

The final race of McAnuff’s maiden World Championships appearance was the 1000 metres ranking final on the last day of competition. He placed fourth in Heat 4 with a time of 1:32.266. This gave him an overall classification of 38th for the event.

“I had a great weekend of racing against the best in the world,” McAnuff. “I am looking forward to next season already and will be working hard in preparation over the coming months.”

Full results for the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships are here.

Tara Donoghue Caps Season With National Records

Tara Donoghue participated this weekend in her final competition of the season at the Viking Race 2019 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Donoghue began the first day of the event by posting a time of 43.29 in the 500 metres to finish in 11th place for the distance. She followed that up with a national junior record of 2:11.69 in the 1500 metres for a 9th place.

The second day started with Donoghue taking more than a second off her 1000 metres personal best and national record by posting a time of 1:24.29 which put her in 10th for the distance. She also lined up for the 3000 metres, but unfortunately fell mid-race and was unable to finish. Nevertheless, two new Irish records can only be viewed as a hugely positive way to conclude a very successful season overall.

Sam McAllister 6th At Tallink Hotels Cup

This weekend saw Ireland’s Sam McAllister competing at the Tallink Hotels Cup in Tallinn, Estonia.

In the short programme, McAllister executed a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination, a triple flip and a double Axel to record a new personal best of 55.58. His routine to “Take Five” put him in sixth position overnight.

The following day the County Antrim native performed in the free skating to “The Lady and the Hooligan” by Dmitri Shostakovich. He included two triple Lutzes and two double Axels in his programme to earn a free score of 98.51. This gave him a total of 154.09 and he remained in sixth place overall.

You can find full results for the Tallink Hotels Cup here.

Introductory Short Track Officials Seminar

An introductory short track officials seminar will be held at The Beacon Hotel, Sandyford, Dublin 18 on Sunday 3 March from 10am until 2pm. Please email info@isai.ie to register for the seminar.

Tara Donoghue Makes Solid Debut At World Juniors

This weekend saw Tara Donoghue become the first skater from Ireland to compete at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Baselga di Pinè, Italy.

Donoghue raced in the 1500 metres on the opening day of the event in the third pairing along a skater from the United States. She started out the slower of the two, but maintained her pace better to win her heat in a time of 2:15.91. This put her in 28th place overall out of 39 athletes.

On the second day of competition, Donoghue lined up for the 3000 metres. She was seeded again in the third pairing, this time with an Austrian skater who went on to record a personal best. The Irish skater maintained her focus and came home in a very creditable time of 4:43.66. She finished the distance in 23rd place out of , the highest ever finish for Ireland in an ISU championship event.

Donoghue was not too overawed by the occasion.

“I raced reasonably well. Not too great, but not too bad and I am OK with that,” Donoghue said. “To be honest, World Juniors felt the same as a World Cup with just a different name.”

Full results for the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships can be found here.

Tara Donoghue Lines Up For World Junior Championship Debut

This weekend Irish speed skater Tara Donoghue (17) will become the first competitor from Ireland to participate in the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Baselga di Piné, Italy (15-17 February).

This is the second season that Donoghue has competed internationally for Ireland. She attained the qualifying times for two distances for these World Junior Championships in autumn 2018. She will race in the 1500 metres tomorrow afternoon (Friday 15 December) and in the 3000 metres the following afternoon (Saturday 16 December) in a field of athletes from 19 countries.

“I am really excited to be have qualified for World Juniors and it is an honour to be the first Irish skater to do so,” Donoghue said. “I am looking forward to doing the best that I can over the two distances in Italy.”

You can watch Donoghue race live on the ISU’s YouTube channel and also follow her progress via the #WorldJSpeed and #SpeedSkating hashtags on social media.