This weekend saw Tara Donoghue become the first skater from Ireland to compete at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Baselga di Pinè, Italy.
Donoghue raced in the 1500 metres on the opening day of the event in the third pairing along a skater from the United States. She started out the slower of the two, but maintained her pace better to win her heat in a time of 2:15.91. This put her in 28th place overall out of 39 athletes.
On the second day of competition, Donoghue lined up for the 3000 metres. She was seeded again in the third pairing, this time with an Austrian skater who went on to record a personal best. The Irish skater maintained her focus and came home in a very creditable time of 4:43.66. She finished the distance in 23rd place out of 34 entrants, the highest ever finish for Ireland in an ISU championship event.
Donoghue was not too overawed by the occasion.
“I raced reasonably well. Not too great, but not too bad and I am OK with that,” Donoghue said. “To be honest, World Juniors felt the same as a World Cup with just a different name.”
Full results for the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships can be found here.