The Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) have selected six speed skaters to the ISAI National Team for the 2021/2022 season.
The following ISAI members have been chosen to represent Ireland on the international stage at International Skating Union (ISU) events::
Short Track Speed Skating
Siún Ní Dhúgáin
Ryan McAnuff has been selected to the National Team for the sixth consecutive season. At the 2020 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, he finished in 34th place overall. He is currently studying medicine at the University of Limerick.
“I am very excited to once again be named to the Irish Short Track Speed Skating team,” Ryan said. “I am excited for another season with a growing Irish team where we look to qualify for the 2022 Olympic Games.”
Sean McAnuff joins his brother Ryan on the National Team again for the sixth time in a row. He placed 35th at the 2020 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships. Since December 2020, he has been training in Budapest, Hungary.
“I feel fortunate to be able to prepare for the Olympic year with Team Hungary, one of the best teams in the world, ” Sean said. “This opportunity has encouraged me to really have fun in the preparation process, and work harder than ever so that I can be the most well-rounded athlete possible. My goals are not only to succeed in my performance on the ice, but to see growth in my attitude, my perspectives, and discovery of what my definition of success looks like in my sport. It can be so easy to get caught up in thinking about the Olympic Qualifiers each day, so I am working hard to stay focused on living in the moment, celebrating my daily successes, and taking in the enjoyment of this season of life.”
Liam O’Brien has been selected for the Irish national team for the third time. Earlier this year, he finished 25th at European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Gdansk, Poland and 29th at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He currently trains in Seongnam, Republic of Korea.
“I am looking forward to racing again this season,” O’Brien said. “The focus is to be competitive at the World Cups, with the end goal being Beijing at the beginning of 2022.”
Tara Donoghue placed 11th in the Mass Start race at the 2020 World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, the best result ever by an Irish ice skater at an ISU Championships. In 2019, she also became the first ice skater to earn a spot for Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympic Games which she was unfortunately unable to use due to age restrictions.
“My goals for the upcoming season are to qualify for the Senior World Cups in the 3000 metres and mass start,” Donoghue said. “From there on the ultimate goal would be qualification for the Beijing 2022 Olympics.”
Rory McCarthy was the first male long track speed skater to be named to the National Team in 2020. Based in the Netherlands, his favourite distance is the 500 metres.
“For the coming season, I hope to enjoy getting back to competition and seeing how far I can push myself,” McCarthy said.
Siún Ní Dhúgáin was also selected to the National Team for the first time in 2020. In July 2019, she participated in the “Road to Ice” training camp at Thialf Academy in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
You can find out more about our national team members here.