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.”