Speed Skating
Charlotte bids to shine in Russia

By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 11:48

SOLIHULL Mohawks' Charlotte Gilmartin is amongst the British short track speed skaters who have travelled to Russia for the penultimate stage of the International Skating Union World Cup which begins tomorrow (Friday).

The competition, that runs until Sunday, takes place in Sochi and is a test event for the 2014 Winter Olympic venues, offering British speed skaters a valuable insight into next year's Games at the same location.

Following the event in Sochi the squad travel to Dresden in Germany for the final leg of the ISU World Cup Series between February 8-10, when this year's world rankings will be decided.

Elise Christie, who became world number one over 1,000m after the first World Cup in Calgary, Canada, will be hoping to cement her position at the top in the 2012/2013 season.

Also competing at the World Cup in Sochi will be Jon Eley, Jack Whelbourne, Paul Stanley, Josh Cheetham and Gilmartin, whilst Christie and Gilmartin will be joined by Alex Stanley and Kathryn Thomson for the women's 3,000m relay in Dresden.

They competed together as a relay team for the first time at the European Short Track Skating Championships in Malmo, Sweden, last month, and finished sixth overall after a fall in the semi-finals.

Twenty-two-year-old Gilmartin, who won a bronze medal in the 1,500m in Malmo, said: "It's nice to have a women's relay team together again, but it is early days for us as a team.

"We haven't raced together much and one of our skaters is still quite young so it's important for us to get as much experience competing together as possible, which is why we have entered the relay at World Cup six in Dresden."

So far, the British team have picked up five medals at the North American and Asia legs of the World Cup, courtesy of Christie.

There have also been top eight finishes from Gilmartin, Eley and Paul Stanley.

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