After a month’s hiatus, Irish short track speed skaters Ryan McAnuff (22) and Sean McAnuff (20) are back on the Audi International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating circuit this week in the qualification process to secure berths for Ireland at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea.
The brothers began their Olympic qualifying campaign late September in Budapest, Hungary and raced the following week in Dordrecht, Netherlands. November sees them take on back-to-back World Cups in Asia – the first of which is in Shanghai, China (9-12 November). They will race against athletes from 40 countries over three disciplines – 500 metres, 1000 metres and 1500 metres. The final World Cup meet will be in Seoul, Republic of Korea (16-19 November). Skaters will earn points for each distance they race at the four World Cups with their three best results counting towards their qualification ranking. The top ranked 32 skaters in the 500 and 1000 metres and 36 skaters in the 1500 metres will book their places in PyeongChang. A maximum total of 60 skaters across all distances will qualify for the Olympics.
In 2016, the brothers became the first Irish short track speed skaters to compete on the international circuit. Ryan represented Ireland at the 2017 European Championships in Italy and the 2017 World Championships in the Netherlands, while Sean flew the tricolour at the 2017 Junior World Championships in Austria all for the first time. During the summer of 2017, they moved from Canada to the Netherlands to train full-time with the Dutch national team.
You can follow the McAnuffs’ progress in China via the Ice Skating Association of Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts and, on 11 and 12 November, via the ISU Skating Channel.