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.

Donoghue Shines Bright At Junior Worlds

Tara Donoghue made history this weekend (21-23 February) at the ISU (International Skating Union) World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland as she raced to the highest placings ever by an Irish skater at an ISU Championships.

Donoghue qualified to compete in four events at the championships and began with the 1500 metres on the first day of racing where she recorded a time of 2:12.749 to finish 40th overall.

On the second day of competition, Donoghue started with the 1000 metres where she placed 38th in a time of 1:24.768 , just half a second off her own Irish record. The best was yet to come later on in the afternoon when she lined up for the 3000 metres. She smashed her own Irish record by a whopping nine seconds in posting a time of 4:29.549 to finish in 18th place, the best result ever by an Irish skater at an ISU Championships.

There was more to come on the final day of competition when Donoghue took to the oval for the mass start race. A collision involving a number of skaters meant a rescheduled start for the whole field and on the first points sprint Donoghue captured a point. It was to prove a decisive moment as the point helped her secure a remarkable 11th place to cap a successful weekend of racing.

“I’m really happy with my races in general, especially the 3000 metres and mass start,” Donoghue said. “I stuck to the plan I made with my coach and managed to show everyone what I’ve got. I’m not satisfied with all my performances. I would have hoped to have done better in the 1500 metres. However, I know what to work on for the coming season and I am really looking forward to training hard this summer so I can rise in the ranking next year.”

Donoghue All Set For World Juniors

This weekend Irish speed skater Tara Donoghue (18) competes for the second time at the ISU (International Skating Union) World Junior Speed Skating Championships which are taking place this year in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland (21-23 February).

Donoghue has attained the qualifying times for three individual distances at these World Junior Championships. She will race in the 1500 metres tomorrow afternoon (Friday 21 February) and in the 1000 and 3000 metres the following day (Saturday 22 February) in a field of athletes from 19 countries. She will also participate in the mass start race on Sunday 23 February.

“My goals for my races at these Junior Worlds are to set personal bests in all three distances, especially in the 3000 metres because I feel like I can definitely knock a chunk off that,” Donoghue said. “Furthermore, I want to go for as high as possible a classification in the mass start and just enjoy the experience in general.”

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

Sean McAnuff Completes Races At Dresden World Cup

At his third ISU (International Skating Union) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating event of the season, Irish skater Sean McAnuff raced this weekend at the EnergieVerbund Arena in Dresden, Germany.

McAnuff began the competition with the heats of the 1000 metres where he was drawn in Heat 9. He recorded a time of 1:29.247 to place fourth. The following day in the repechage quarterfinals he came joint fourth in Heat 4 with a time of 1:30.524 and was classified 43rd overall for the distance.

McAnuff also contested the 1500 metres (2) in Dresden. For the quarterfinals, he lined up in Heat 8 and posted a time of 2:26.554 for fourth place. In the repechage quarterfinals, he came fifth in Heat 3 in a time of 2:22.114. He was 41st in the overall classification for the distance.

Full results for the ISU World Cup Short Track are available here.

Sean McAnuff Back On World Cup Circuit In Dresden

Irish skater Sean McAnuff races in his third ISU (International Skating Union) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating of the 2019/2020 season in Dresden, Germany  over the weekend (7-9 February).

McAnuff has had a busy season so far with World Cups in the United States and Canada as well as last month’s European Championships in Hungary. He will step on to the ice for the preliminary rounds at the EnergieVerbund Arena on Friday 7 February with racing opportunities also over the course of the following two days.

You can follow the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating live on the ISU’s YouTube channel, the results page and on social media using the #WCShortTrack #ShortTrackSkating and #UpAgain hashtags.

Ryan Sets Three National Records At Short Track World Juniors Debut

Ava Ryan (18) made a successful debut at the ISU (International Skating Union) World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships as she set three new Irish national records in Bormio, Italy over the weekend.

Ryan began the championships with the qualifying rounds of the 500, 1000 and 1500 metres on Day One. In Heat 3 of the 1500 metres quarterfinals, she placed fifth in a time of 2:33.047. She followed that up a 47.657 clocking in Heat 4 of the 500 metres preliminaries to finish in fifth again with her first new national record of the competition. She ended the first day of the event with the 1000 metres preliminaries where she raced in Heat 5 and raced to fourth place in another national record of 1:36.734.

Day Two saw her line up for the ranking finals of the 1500 and 500 metres. In the 1500, Ryan broke her third national record of the weekend with a time 2:32.183 in Heat 2 for a third place. She finished 38th overall for the distance. She was back on the ice for Heat 2 of the 500 in which she clocked 48.387 to come second and place 45th overall.

On the final day of competition, Ryan competed in the 1000 metres ranking final. She participated in Heat 3 where she posted a time of 1:38.320 to come in fourth place. She was classified as 37th overall for the distance.

“Though I got personal records in all the distances, I feel I could have raced better this weekend,” Ryan said. “I made a lot of my mistakes due to my lack of experience competing at this level. Since I’ve only been racing for three years at local competitions, I hope with more international racing experience my results will improve in the future.”

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.

Ryan First Irish Female Short Track Skater To Compete At World Juniors

This weekend Ava Ryan (18) becomes the first female skater from Ireland to compete at the ISU (International Skating Union) World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Bormio, Italy (31 January – 2 February).

Ryan will be lining up among 190 skaters from 37 countries who will be vying for top honours in the Italian alpine resort. The competition will begin with the qualifying rounds for the 500, 1000 and 1500 metre distances on Friday, 31 January. The subsequent rounds will take place on Saturday, 1 February and Sunday, 2 February.

Ryan’s father hails from Cork and she trains under Simon Cho, 2010 Olympic medallist, at the Potomac Speed Skating Club in Maryland, United States of America.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to race here in Bormio and represent Ireland,” Ryan said. “My goals for this weekend are to skate my best races and set personal bests. I’ve already hit personal bests in practice and hope those will continue during the races.”

You can follow the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships on the ISU YouTube Channel and by using the #ShortTrackSkating hashtag on social media. Competition results will be updated here.

McAnuff Brothers Wrap Up Short Track Euros

Ryan McAnuff (25) and Sean McAnuff (22) raced this weekend at the ISU (International Skating Union) European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary to an overall classification of 34th and 35th respectively.

The brothers competed over the course of three days in the 500, 1000 and 1500 metre distances. The first day of the event saw them begin with the quarterfinals of the 1500 where Sean finished fourth in Heat 1 and Ryan fifth in Heat 4. They then participated in the 500 heats where Ryan placed fifth in Heat 1 and Sean fourth in Heat 3. They ended their opening day of action with 1000 heats where Ryan came third in Heat 1 and Sean fifth in Heat 3.

On the second day of competition, the McAnuffs took part in the ranking finals for the 1500 and 500. Ryan was a close second in Heat 1 of the 1500 to finish overall in 35th place. Sean took to the ice in Heat 3 and placed fourth which gave him an overall classification of 25th, his best ever at an individual distance at an ISU Championships. The 500 ranking finals followed and the brothers faced each other in Heat 2 with Sean placing third and Ryan fourth. They were classified as 33rd and 34th respectively for the distance.

The final day saw them conclude their racing with the 1000 metre ranking finals. Sean won Heat 1 and Ryan came fourth in Heat 4. Ryan stood 24th in the overall classification for the distance which was his best at an ISU Championship. Sean placed 35th. The overall championships classification saw Ryan finish 34th and Sean 35th.

“Ryan and I are both very happy with our individual races and the progres we made even throughout the competition,” Sean McAnuff said. “We both got our best individual finishes ever in a distance and we both got our best combined points for the three distances for any European Championships we have competed in!”