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Seven Speed Skaters Selected To 2020/2021 ISAI National Team

The Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) have selected seven speed skaters to the ISAI National Team for the 2020/2021 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

Ryan McAnuff
Sean McAnuff
Liam O’Brien
Ava Ryan

Speed Skating

Tara Donoghue
Rory McCarthy
Siún Ní Dhúgáin

 

Ryan McAnuff has been selected to the National Team for the fifth consecutive season. At the 2020 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, he finished in 34th place overall with a career best individual placing of 24th in the 1000 metres. He is currently studying medicine at the University of Limerick.

Sean McAnuff joins his brother Ryan on the National Team for the fifth time in a row. He placed 35th at the 2020 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships with a personal best individual finish of 25th in the 1500 metres.

Liam O’Brien has been selected for the Irish national team for the second time. He currently trains in Seongnam, Republic of Korea under the tutelage of Lee Kwang Soo.

Ava Ryan became the first female short track speed skater to be named to represent Ireland at an ISU Championships in January 2020. She set three national records in her World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships debut. She trains under Simon Cho, 2010 Olympic medallist, at the Potomac Speed Skating Club in Maryland, United States of America.

Tara Donoghue placed 11th in the Mass Start and 18th in the 3000 metres at the 2020 World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, the best results ever by an Irish ice skater at an ISU Championships. Earlier in the season, she also became the first ice skater to earn a spot for Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Rory McCarthy is the first male long track speed skater to be named to the National Team. Based in the Netherlands, his favourite distance is the 500 metres.

Siún Ní Dhúgáin has also been selected to the National Team for the first time. 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.

Tara Donoghue Awarded ISU Scholarship

Irish speed skater Tara Donoghue is to receive an ISU (International Skating Union) Development Programme Junior Scholarship.

The scholarship is given to young skaters of outstanding talent from developing members federations. Athletes are deemed eligible to be considered for the scholarship based on their participation in international competition. The number of scholarships dispensed each year is limited. Donoghue is set to be awarded a scholarship worth 4,500 Swiss Francs.

Donoghue trains under Baanselectie Haarlem coaches Peter van der Rol Brouwer, Manon Spruit and Bart Vreugdehil at the Ijsclub Haarlem in the Netherlands. In February 2020, she became the first skater representing Ireland to finish in the Top 15 at an ISU Championships event when she placed 11th in the Mass Start race at the Junior World Championships in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland. She is only the second athlete from Ireland to be awarded an ISU Junior Scholarship.

“I am extremely honoured to be granted the funding,” Donoghue said. “It shows that my progress and hard work over the past few years as well as my potential for the coming seasons have been recognised. It is also great that the ISU supports skaters from a small country like Ireland.

“I will be able to use the funding for additional training camps, equipment and further competitive opportunities abroad over the course of the next two seasons. This should hopefully increase my performance levels and put me in a position to qualify to represent Ireland at a future Winter Olympics.

“Lastly, I would like to thank ISAI (Ice Skating Association of Ireland) President Karen O’Sullivan and the board for putting me forward for the scholarship and helping me with the funding application and to the ISU for the confidence they have shown in my abilities.”

 

 

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.

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.

2019-2020 Irish Speed Skating Team Announced

The selection of the Irish National Speed Skating Team Team for the 2019-2020 season has been made by the Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI).

The ISAI has selected the following members to compete in International Skating Union (ISU) speed skating events for the 2019-2020 season:

Speed Skating

Tara Donoghue

Short Track Speed Skating

Ava Fradlin-Ryan
Ryan McAnuff
Sean McAnuff
Liam O’Brien

Tara Donoghue continued to make history last season by becoming the first Irish speed skater to participate in the World Junior Speed Skating Championships. She also set a number of new Irish records and personal bests over the course of her competitive assignments.

Ava Fradlin-Ryan is the first female short track speed skater to be named to an Irish national team. She trains under Simon Cho, 2010 Olympic medallist, at the Potomac Speed Skating Club in Maryland, United States of America.

Ryan McAnuff started a degree in medicine at the University of Limerick last year and balanced his studies with training and competition. At the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands, he smashed his 1500 metres national record by four seconds.

Sean McAnuff joined his brother Ryan at those Europeans and they became the first Irish ice skaters to compete in the same category at an International Skating Union (ISU) Championships. Sean capped off his season by making his World Short Track Speed Skating Championship debut in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Liam O’Brien is selected for the Irish national team for the first time. He currently trains at the Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink in Sydney, Australia with coaches Scott Weekes and Maggie Holland.

You can find out more about our national team members here.