TRIUMPHANT Charlotte Gilmartin hailed the atmosphere at the weekend’s International Skating Union Star Class event in Nottingham as “awesome”.
The competition at the National Ice Centre came hot on the heels of the bronze medal Gilmartin won in the 1,500m World Cup A final in Shanghai and her overall second placed finish at the British Championships at the same East Midlands venue the previous weekend.
Short track speed skating stars from across the globe took to the ice for the Star Class meeting, which was attended by thousands and was a prestigious event for British Short Track on home ice.
Twenty-five-year-old Gilmartin, from Redditch, was in action on the opening day (Friday) of the competition – which runs across Europe – and continued her fine form as she won the ladies’ 1,500m event.
Skating in front of a spirited audience, which included more than 3,000 schoolchildren, was the Nottingham-based GB Short Track Olympic squad for whom – midway through their hectic 2015/16 season schedule – the competition serves as a great opportunity to skate on home soil and inspire future generations of Great British skaters.
Having put in strong first skates in the heats, GB’s Gilmartin, Jennifer Pickering and Kathryn Thomson soared through to the final where Gilmartin and Thomson took podium spots of first and third respectively.
Gilmartin, who suffered a slight injury which ruled her out of competing in the 500m and 1,000m contests over the following two days, said after her triumph: “The atmosphere in the arena was awesome today and the team gets a real buzz from that so it’s great to be a part of.
“It was sweet to take a win as I have been working hard on developing tactics this season.
“I love the fact we had three GB short track athletes in our final. It shows strong future potential.”
Gilmartin now turns her attentions to the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics when she and her GB team-mates visit Sochi in Russia aiming to challenge for medals in the European Championships (January 22-24).