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.”

McAnuff And Ryan Race At Canadian International Invitational

Over the weekend, Irish short track speed skating national team members Sean McAnuff and Ava Ryan competed in a series of races at the Canadian International Invitational (6-8 December) in Montreal, Canada.

Ryan made her debut for Ireland at the event and she participated in three individual distance categories, as well as part of an international team in the 3000 metres relay that won a silver medal. Her final overall ranking for the competition was 49th. She also recorded a qualification time for the next month’s International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Bormio, Italy.

McAnuff also took part in 500, 1000 and 1500 metre races in Montreal. He was ranked 35th overall and January will also be a busy month for him with the 2020 ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships coming up in Debrecen, Hungary.

Results for the competition can be found here.

 

 

Donoghue Qualifies First Ever Skating Youth Olympics Spot For Ireland

Tara Donoghue (17) has officially become the first ice skater to qualify a quota spot for Ireland at a Youth Olympic Games. This spot was obtained based solely on Donoghue’s performance at last weekend’s International Skating Union (ISU) Junior World Cup Speed Skating event in Enschede, Netherlands.

The Youth Olympic Games are an elite multi-sport event for young people from all over the world. The sports programme is based on that of the Olympic Games, with 7 sports featuring on the winter programme. The next edition are scheduled to take place in Lausanne, Switzerland in January 2020. For the speed skating events at next year’s Games, competitors must be born between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2004. Unfortunately, Donoghue’s date of birth is 11 December 2001 meaning she will miss out on competing in Lausanne.

“It’s a huge honour to be the first ice skater to qualify a spot for Ireland at the Youth Olympics,” Donoghue said. “Although it’s bittersweet for me because I am too old by 20 days to participate, this disappointment is going to spur me on to work even harder.”

Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) President Karen O’Sullivan said, “This is an amazing achievement by Tara to earn the first ever ice skating spot for Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympic Games and is a testament to the bright future she has in the sport.”

Donoghue is already qualified for the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Final in Minsk, Belarus and the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland. Both competitions will be held in February 2020.

Donoghue Wraps Up Dutch Junior World Cup

Irish speed skater Tara Donoghue competed this weekend in the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Enschede, Netherlands.

On the opening day of the event, Donoghue raced over two distances. In the 1000 metres, she opened with her series of races with a time of 1:27.298 to finish 45th. Later on in the day, she took to the Ijsbaan Twente oval once more for the 3000 metres where she clocked 4:41.852 to come 24th.

The second day began for Donoghue with the 500 metres and she posted a time of 43.642 to place 54th. She followed that up with 2:13.368 over 1500 metres to come in 33rd. She closed out her racing with the mass start and she finished in 18th overall in a time of 5:50.75.

Full results of the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Enschede can be viewed here.

Donoghue Lines Up For ISU Junior World Cup

Irish speed skater Tara Donoghue competes this weekend at the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior World Cup in Enschede, Netherlands (23-24 November).

Donoghue will race in the 500, 1000, 1500 and 3000 metres distances, as well as the mass start event, over the course of the two days. Starting times for her events are as follows (all Irish time):

Saturday, 23 November

08:00 1000m
11:45 3000m

Sunday, 24 November

08:00 500m
11:35 1500m
14:50 Mass Start

The ISU Junior World Cup will be streamed live on the KNSB YouTube Channel. Results can be found on the ISU Speed Skating Results page and you can also follow the event on social media via the #SpeedSkating hashtag.

Sean McAnuff Rounds Out Montreal World Cup

At his second International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track of the season, Irish skater Sean McAnuff raced this weekend at Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal, Canada.

McAnuff began the competition with the heats of the 1000 metres (1) where he was drawn in Heat 4. He recorded a time of 1:30.831 to place fifth. The following day in the repechage quarterfinals he was penalised and was classified 46th overall for the distance.

McAnuff also contested the 500 metres in Montreal. For the heats, he lined up in Heat 2 and posted a time of 42.804 for fourth place. In the repechage quarterfinals, he came third in Heat 3 in a time of 42.779. He was 35th in the overall classification for the distance.

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

Sean McAnuff Lines Up For Montreal World Cup

For the second week in a row, Sean McAnuff will compete at an International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating event this weekend (8-10 November) when he races at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal, Canada.

The Irish short track speed skater is coming off the back of racing in Salt Lake City, United States of America last week in what was his season opener. He will step on to the ice for the preliminary rounds on Friday 8 November 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.

Sean McAnuff Completes Salt Lake City World Cup Season Opener

Irish short track speed skater Sean McAnuff competed over the weekend at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Salt Lake City to begin his season of racing at the Utah Olympic Oval.

McAnuff started the competition with the heats of the 500 metres where he lined up in Heat 1. He finished fourth in a time of 42.826, just over half a second off his personal best. In the repechage quarterfinals, he also came fourth in Heat 4 while bringing his time down once again to 42.658. Overall, he finished 40th for the distance.

McAnuff also participated in the 1000 metres heats where he was drawn in Heat 4. Half way through the race, contact was made between him and another skater on a corner and he was subsequently disqualified. Unfortunately, this also meant he could not skate in the repechage.

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

Sean McAnuff In Salt Lake City World Cup Season Opener

Sean McAnuff (22) will make his season debut as Ireland’s sole representative at this weekend’s International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating in Salt Lake City, United States of America (1-3 November).

McAnuff concluded last season with a 38th place at the World Championships debut in Sofia, Bulgaria. This season he will be aiming to build on this performance and move up the global standings.

“I am looking forward to this coming season,” he said. “I am excited to begin racing this weekend in Salt Lake CitySe.”

The weekend’s event in Salt Lake City will be the first of six World Cup events across three continents. McAnuff will compete in two individual distances – the 500 metres and the 1000 metres.

The event will be live streamed on the ISU Skating Channel (geo blocking may apply in certain territories) and for the first time ever, live streams will be available in certain territories on social media platforms, follow us on social media to find out more.

For further information on Short Track Speed Skating, visit https://www.isu.org/short-track.