McAnuff Brothers Make Milestones At Short Track Europeans

Ryan McAnuff (24) and Sean McAnuff (21) became the first Irish ice skaters to compete in the same category at an International Skating Union (ISU) Championships this weekend in front of capacity crowds at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands.

The brothers raced over the course of three days in the 500, 1000 and 1500 metre distances. The best performance on a gruelling opening qualification day was by Sean who finished in third place in the 1000 metres and just missed out on advancing to the quarterfinals.

The highlights of the event came on Day Two. Ryan smashed his own Irish 1500 metres national record by four seconds in coming third in his ranking final in a time of 2:14.413. It was the 12th best time in the distance. The siblings were found themselves in the same 500 metres ranking final and, despite a broken blade and a subsequent restart, Sean pipped his older brother for an Irish 1-2.

Day Three saw them conclude their racing by coming second in each of their respective 1000 metre ranking finals. The overall championships classification saw Sean finish 31st and Ryan 36th to maintain two spots for next year’s event.

“It was so much fun to race in front of such an enthusiastic crowd this weekend,” Sean said. “Ryan and I hope that we can continue to build the profile of our sport in Ireland.”

“Combining my sport with my medical studies at the University of Limerick over the past few months has been challenging,” Ryan added. “That makes it all the sweeter to have set a new Irish 1500 metres record.”

 

McAnuff Brothers All Set For Short Track Euros

Ryan and Sean McAnuff will be flying the flag for Ireland at the International Skating Union (ISU) European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands this weekend (11-13 January).

For the first time ever at an ISU Championships, two skaters from Ireland will compete in the same category which is down to Sean McAnuff securing an extra spot with overall placement at last year’s Europeans in Dresden, Germany.

The brothers will be lining up with 76 skaters from 23 countries who will be vying for top honours in Dordrecht. The competition will begin with the qualifying rounds for the 500, 1000 and 1500 metre distances on Friday, 11 January. The subsequent rounds will take place on Saturday, 12 January and Sunday, 13 January.

This season has been an eventful one for the McAnuffs. Ryan began a degree in medicine at the University of Limerick in Autumn 2018 and has been balancing his studies with training. Sean has already participated in two World Cups and, in Calgary, Canada, he smashed the Irish national records in both the 500 and 1000 metres.

“I am excited to once again be representing Ireland at a major championships,” Ryan McAnuff said. “It is a wonderful feeling to be sharing this experience with Sean.”

“With two of us racing in Dordrecht, I really hope that we can build up the profile for short track back in Ireland,” Sean McAnuff said. “I am looking forward to racing with Ryan and all the other world class athletes this weekend.”

You can follow the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships on the ISU Skating Channel and by using the #EuroShortTrack #OneHandDown and #ShortTrackSkating hashtags on social media. Competition results will be updated here.

 

2018 Review: A Year Of Milestones For Irish Ice Skating

2018 got off to a bright start with Elizabeth Golding claiming gold in the Advanced Novice Ladies event at the FBMA Trophy (Abu Dhabi, UAE) in January. Conor Stakelum took home Senior Men’s silver at the same event. Later on in the month, Stakelum also became the first male skater from Ireland to compete at a European Figure Skating Championships when he took to the ice in Moscow Russia. He finished in 36th place. Sean McAnuff made his debut at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dresden, Germany where he finished 28th overall and thus secured two spots for Ireland in the 2019 championships.

In February, Stakelum set two new national senior records in the short programme (54.77) and total score (158.33).

March saw Sam McAllister become the first Irish skater since Viv Murphy in 2010 to compete at a World Junior Figure Skating Championships when he placed 44th in Sofia Bulgaria. Ryan McAnuff raced to 35th place overall at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal, Canada over St. Patrick’s weekend.

The 2018/2019 season got off to a magnificent start in August when Elizabeth Golding set a new set of Irish Junior records at the Junior Grand Prix in Linz, Austria. At the age of 13, Golding also became the youngest Irish skater to ever participate in the series.

In October, Tara Donoghue broke the Irish women’s 1500 metres speed skating record in Berlin, Germany. Her time of 2:11.76 also qualified her for the Junior World Cup Final and World Junior Speed Skating Championships in February 2019.

Sean McAnuff broke both the 500 metres and 1000 metres senior Irish records at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating in Calgary, Canada in November. Tara Donoghue smashed her Irish 3000 metres record at the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland by eight seconds to also qualify herself for that distance at the Junior World Cup Final and World Junior Speed Skating Championships in February 2019. Conor Stakelum posted a new set of Irish senior records on his way to a fourth place at the Denkova-Staviski Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Thanks to everyone who supported Irish ice skating in 2018!

 

New Year Patch Ice

Patch Ice is an opportunity for members to practice on a figure session where there is plenty of room to move without having to avoid recreational skaters. Patch Ice is for Ice Skating Association of Ireland members only and will have a maximum capacity per session.

To avoid disappointment due to a session being full, please email info@isai.ie immediately to reserve your place.

The dates and times are as follows:

Monday 31st December (9:45am – 10:45am)
Tuesday 1st January (10:45am – 11:45am)
Wednesday 2nd January (9:45am – 10:45am)
Thursday 3rd January (8:45am – 9:45am)
Friday 4th January (9:45am – 10:45am)

2nd Winter Challenge Entry Deadline Extended

The deadline for entries to the 2nd Winter Challenge at South Dublin On Ice has been extended to 6 January 2019.

You can find the competition announcement and entry form here.

Conor Stakelum Selected For European Figure Skating Championships 2019

Conor Stakelum has been selected by the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) to represent Ireland at the European Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Minsk, Belarus.

The five-time Irish senior champion will compete in the men’s singles category at the event alongside the cream of European skating talent in Minsk Arena during the championships which run from 21-27 January 2019. 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 second 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 pleased to have been selected to compete in my second European Championships and I look forward to once again representing Ireland in Belarus”, Stakelum said. “This season so far I have had the best scores and placements of my career internationally due to improved consistency thanks to hard work with the support and guidance of my coaches. I hope to carry this consistency into the European Championships and give strong performances that I can be proud of in Minsk.”

Top Eight Finishes For Stakelum And McAllister At Denkova-Staviski Cup

Conor Stakelum (25) and Sam McAllister (20) have concluded their campaigns earlier today at the Denkova-Staviski Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria with both placing in the top eight at the competition.

On Day One, Stakelum and McAllister skated their short programmes. Stakelum executed a triple loop, a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a double Axel in his routine. He received a new personal best and Irish record score of 55.65 to place fourth overnight. McAllister attempted a triple Lutz, a triple flip-double toe loop combination and a double Axel in his performance. He scored 51.67 to give himself an intermediary placing of seventh.

In the free skating, Stakelum included five triple jumps and had two spins graded Level 4. He recorded two more personal bests and Irish records for his free (114.36) and total (170.01) scores. He placed third in the free, but remained in fourth overall. McAllister tried four triple jumps in his free routine and was awarded Level 4 for change foot combination spin. He earned 97.60 for his free which left him in eighth place overall on a total of 149.27.

Full detailed results for the Denkova-Staviski Cup 2018 can be found here.

McAllister And Stakelum Ready For Denkova-Staviski Cup

The senior Irish national figure skating team head to Sofia, Bulgaria this week (28-29 November) to participate in the Denkova-Staviski Cup.

Sam McAllister (20) and Conor Stakelum (25) are both entered in the senior men’s category at the competition. At last month’s Halloween Cup in Budapest, Hungary, Stakelum finished 6th and McAllister came 8th. This is the second year in a row both skaters will compete at the Denkova-Staviski Cup. Last season McAllister won the junior title at the event, while Stakelum finished 10th in seniors.

Both athletes will skate their short programmes on Wednesday 28 November. They will conclude their competition with the free skating on Thursday 29 November.

Denkova-Staviski Cup Official Website: http://www.clubdenkovastaviski.com/cup_denkova_staviski.html

Sam McAllister ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00101056.htm

Conor Stakelum ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00054307.htm

Tara Donoghue Smashes Another Irish Record At Junior World Cup

Tara Donoghue broke new ground this weekend as she participated in her first International Skating Union (ISU) Junior World Cup Speed Skating of this season in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland.

Donoghue began her racing with the 1000 metres where she placed 36th in a time of 1:27.03, just 0.33 outside her personal best.

The Irish skater proceeded to the 3000 metres where she demolished her previous Irish record of 4:46.37 by almost eight seconds. Her clocking of 4:38.55 put her in 15th place for the distance and also earned her the qualifying time for the Junior World Cup Final in February 2019.

Donoghue was back on the ice for the 500 metres earlier today where she put in another solid showing. Her time of 43.46 was only 0.09 seconds outside her personal best and gave her a ranking of 33rd. She made the qualifying time for the 1500 metres in Germany last month.

Her final event of the competition was the Mass Start and she finished 16th overall in a time of 6:10.96.

Detailed results for the competition can be found here.

Sean McAnuff Wraps Up Second World Cup

For the second consecutive week, Sean McAnuff participated in a World Cup Short Track Speed Skating competition when he travelled to Salt Lake City in the United States.

McAnuff began the event with the preliminaries of the 1000 metres (1) race where he was drawn in Heat 4 and came fourth in a time of 1:29.067.

Next up were the preliminaries of the 500 metres in which McAnuff was placed in Heat 9. He finished fourth in a time of 43.461.

He was back in action in the 1000 metres (1) repechage quarterfinal where he came fifth with a time of 1:28.962. He was classified 35th overall for the distance.

The final race for McAnuff of the tournament was the 500 metres repechage quarterfinal. He came very close to breaking the Irish national record that he set last weekend clocking 42.401 and finishing in third in Heat 2. His distance classification was 32nd.

“There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend,” McAnuff said. “In particular, in my final 500 metre race I set a new record for my fastest lap time ever.”