Stan Grabs a Silve
ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup Round 5 – Moscow Final Day
Great Britain’s excellent form continued on the third and final day of the 5th round of ISU World Cups with Paul Stanley taking Silver in the Men’s 500m, defeating the Vancouver Olympic Champion in the process.
Paul Stanley leads out Richard Shoebridge in training.
It was a non-stop day for the team with all 3 men Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge and Paul Stanley through to the quarter finals of the 500m (a first for Great Britain at World Level) and Jack Whelbourne and Elise Christie through to the quarter finals of the 1000m. Jack was unfortunate not to qualify for the semi finals and finished in 12th place overall, Elise Christie again proved that she is up there with the best in the world by taking 5th place in the Ladies 1000m.
In the 500m, with all three GB men through to the Semi-Finals and only two races, it meant that two of the GB men had to race each other as well as the best skaters in the World to get to the final. Jon Eley and Richard Shoebridge were drawn in the first semi final and from lanes three and four it was always going to be tough to progress, and so it proved to be. Unfortunately Richard and Jon finished 3rd and 4th respectively and the subsequent ‘B’ Final, Jon placed 2nd and Richard 3rd to finish 6th and 7th overall in this distance.
Everything now rested on Paul Stanley (‘Stan’) to fly the flag for Great Britain. Paul, who missed the Vancouver Olympic Games after severely fracturing his arm at the Olympic qualifying event, was drawn in the second of the 500m semi finals and skated brilliantly fighting off challenges from Olympic Gold medallist Charles Hamelin (CAN), Robert Seifert (GER) and Qiang Ma (CHN) to take 2nd place and so qualify for the Final.
In the final Paul had the worst possible lane draw in the outside lane, but after a superb fast start he was in 3rd place after the first corner. He then moved through to 2nd place where he held off Francois Hamlin (CAN) and
Freek van der Wart (NED) to take the Silver medal, a fine reward for all of the hard work he’s put in to get back to top form.
Overall this has been a very successful weekend for the Great Britain Short Track team and they finished the competition with a Silver medal, 4 top 5 results and 8 top 10 places
The team move on to Dresden, Germany tomorrow for the 6th and final event of the World Cup series.
The 2011 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships will be held between the 11th and 13th of March at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield. Tickets can be obtained through the Championships website at www.worldshorttrack2011.co.uk