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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.

Conor Stakelum 34th At Europeans

Conor Stakelum (26) competed this afternoon in the short programme men’s event at the ISU (International Skating Union) European Figure Skating Championships in Graz, Austria where he placed 34th.

Stakelum skated 16th out of the 35 competitors and began his programme to “Nightshade” by The Lumineers with an attempted triple loop and followed it with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop jump combination which unfortunately resulted in a fall. However, he steadied himself as the routine progressed and his final four elements all received a positive grade of execution from the judging panel. He was awarded a score of 48.28.

As only the top 24 skaters advance to tomorrow’s free skating, the five-time senior champion has concluded his third successive participation at the European Championships today.

“I’m disappointed, but these things happen,” Stakelum said. “I’m going to go home and work on putting more difficult elements into my programmes.”

 

Conor Stakelum Skates For Ireland At European Figure Skating Championships

Conor Stakelum (26) competes at the ISU (International Skating Union) European Figure Skating Championships this week in Graz, Austria (22-26 January). This is the five-time Irish champion’s third consecutive participation at the event following his debut two years ago in Moscow, Russia where he became the first Irish male figure skater to compete in the history of the championships since they began in 1891.

Stakelum will first take part in the short programme which will be held on the morning of Wednesday, 22 January from 11:30am local time (10:30am Irish time). The day prior to the competition a draw will be held to determine his starting order of the 35 men entered. He will perform seven required elements and if his scores place him in the top 24 skaters he will advance to the free skating on Thursday, 23 January.

“I am proud to be representing Ireland at Europeans again,” Stakelum said. “I am looking forward to building on my previous two championship experiences this week in Graz.”

You will be able to follow Stakelum’s progress in Graz live on the ISU YouTube channel, the competition event page and on social media using the #EuroFigure and #FigureSkating hashtags.

The European Figure Skating Championships are being held in Graz for the first time ever, but Austria has hosted on 11 previous occasions. Stakelum will be one of 165 skaters from 33 countries who will participate in the event. Skaters have had to obtain a minimum total technical score in the short programme and free skating in an ISU competition in order to compete at the ISU European Figure Skating 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.”

Stakelum 10th, McAllister 13th At Denkova-Staviski Cup

Irish figure skaters Sam McAllister and Conor Stakelum have completed their participation in the Senior Men’s event at the Denkova-Staviski Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria earlier today (14 November).

The first of the Irish entries to take to the ice for the short programme was Stakelum. He rotated a triple loop and went on to land a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a double Axel. He also executed three Level 4 spins and scored 59.44 points to place seventh at the interim stage.

In the following warm-up group, McAllister skated his short. He singled a triple Lutz and attempted a triple flip combination, while later on in his routine he landed a double Axel and had two of his spins graded Level 4. He received 47.89 points for the segment to place 14th.

In the free skating, McAllister was the first of the Irish competitors to perform. He opened with a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and went on to attempt three more triples. He also landed two double Axels and was awarded Level 4 for two of his spins. With a free score of 92.51 and a total of 140.40, the Irish senior champion finished in 13th place overall.

Stakelum began his free by doubling a planned triple loop and included four other triple jumps, two double Axels and three Level 4 spins in his programme. The five-time Irish senior champion scored 104.58 points for his free giving him a total of 164.02 for 10th place in the final standings.

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

McAllister 14th, Stakelum 15th At Nebelhorn Trophy

Over the course of the past two days, Sam McAllister (20) and Conor Stakelum (26) competed at the 51st edition of the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

McAllister opened the competition with his short programme to “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. He attempted a triple Lutz, a triple flip-double toe loop combination and a double Axel with two of his spins graded Level 4. He received 51.98 points to put himself in 14th place.

Towards the end of the same warmup group, Stakelum performed his short to “Nightshade” by The Lumineers. He went for a triple loop and then continued with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a double Axel. A flying sit spin was graded Level 4 and he placed 13th in the short with 52.75 points.

The Irish skaters followed each other in the free skating the next day. McAllister inserted four triples and two Level 4 spins into his “Pirates of the Caribbean” routine and was rewarded with a free score of 100.74 points which gave him a total of 152.72 and 14th place overall. Both marks represent new International Skating Union (ISU) personal bests.

“It was a good result here in Oberstdorf,” McAllister said. “I now have the minimum technical scores for the European Championships which was a season’s goal of mine.”

Stakelum took to the ice for his “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed and opened with a triple loop jump. He went on to attempt four more triples and closed with a Level 4 combination spin. He scored 94.03 points for the free which amounted to a total of 146.78 and left him in 15th place.

“I had a challenging free tonight,” Stakelum said. “I am going to away and come back to deliver a better performance of this programme that I know is in me.”

Full details results for the 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy can be found here.

McAllister and Stakelum Take On Nebelhorn Trophy

The season steps up another gear this week as Irish figure skaters Sam McAllister (20) and Conor Stakelum (26) compete in the men’s event at the prestigious Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany (26-28 September).

This will be the second foray onto the international stage for both men this season. Last month, Stakelum and McAllister skated at the Tayside, Trophy in Dundee, United Kingdom where they placed fourth and fifth respectively. The Nebelhorn Trophy will be their first International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series event of the season and represents an increased level of competition. They will face off against skaters from 13 other nations in the short programme (Thursday, 26 September) and the free skating (Friday, 27 September).

The two Irish skaters have been drawn in the first warm-up group for tomorrow’s short (10.00hrs Irish time) with McAllister opening the event and Stakelum skating fifth out of the 18 skaters.

You can follow all the action on the live stream and the event results page.

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.

McAllister and Stakelum Kick Off Season At Tayside Trophy

This week sees Irish figure skaters Sam McAllister and Conor Stakelum commence their season when they compete at the inaugural Tayside Trophy in Dundee, United Kingdom (12-13 August).

McAllister and Stakelum will first take to the ice for the Senior Men’s short programme tomorrow (12 August) which begins at 17:35. The following day (13 August) they will perform in the free skating from 12:19 to conclude the event.

McAllister is the reigning Irish national champion. Born in Ballymoney, County Antrim, he divides his training between Nottingham and Sheffield where he is coached by Margaret O’Neill.

Five-time national champion Stakelum will not have far to travel as he trains at the Dundee Ice Arena where the Tayside Trophy will be held. The Dubliner trains with Simon and Debi Briggs.

There will be a live stream for the short programme and the free skating. You can also follow the competition via the event results page.

 

Conor Stakelum Skates For Ireland At European Figure Skating Championships

Conor Stakelum (25) competes at the European Figure Skating Championships this week in Minsk, Belarus (23-27 January). This is the five-time Irish champion’s second consecutive participation at the event following his debut last year in Moscow, Russia where he became the first Irish male figure skater to compete in the 118 year history of the championships.

Stakelum will first take part in the short programme which will be held on the afternoon of Thursday, 24 January from 12 noon local time (9am Irish time). He drew to skate 11th of the 36 men competing and will be on the ice at 1:42pm local time (10:32am Irish time). He will perform seven required elements and if his scores place him in the top 24 skaters he will advance to the free skating on Saturday, 26 January.

“I am excited to be back at Europeans again,” Stakelum said. “Last year I was a little bit overawed by the sheer scale of everything. This year I feel more comfortable competing at this level and I hope that will reflect in my performance.”

You will be able to follow Stakelum’s progress in Minsk live on the Eurosport Player (subscription service), the competition results page and on social media using the #EuroFigure #FigureSkating hashtags.

The European Figure Skating Championships are being held in Minsk for the first time ever. Stakelum will be one of 145 skaters from 34 countries who will participate in the event.