Photo: supplied by Action Images
SportsAid athlete Elise Christie (TASS alumna) won two gold medals at the ISU European Short Track Championships on January 24 to claim the European titles over 500m and 1,500m.
She later went on to win a third title as the women's overall European champion after finishing the competition at the top of the leaderboard.
Speaking after the two wins on Saturday, Elise said, “I’m absolutely ecstatic that I won the 1500m and 500m however it completely shocked me, to a point that I actually got a bit emotional afterwards."
“I’ve never even got to a final in a European 500m in my whole career so I’m over the moon that I’ve not only reached the podium, but have left with a gold medal. I definitely feel like all my hard work is paying off.”
The following day fellow TASS alumna Charlotte Gilmartin finished fourth in the final of the women’s 1,000m event, which sadly did not feature Elise after she picked up a penalty in the semi-final.
But after a second-place finish in the 3000m super final, Elise finished the championships at the top of the leaderboard to win a further gold medal and the overall title.
She added, “I still can’t believe that I am the 2015 European champion. When I came off the ice from the 3000m I didn’t actually relise that I had won until it showed up on the board.
"The aim of today was to focus on the 1000m as it is my strongest distance, unfortunately I got a penalty in the semi-finals which meant I didn’t make the final, however I didn’t let it get to me and made sure that I then turned my attention to the 3000m super final. I feel like I’ve skated really well this weekend and I will now look towards training for the next three big races.”
Commenting on Elise’s success, the performance director at GB Short Track, Stuart Horsepool, said, “Elise skated brilliantly…and I couldn’t be happier for her.
“Charlotte has also done really well,” he added.
“The aim of this competition is to concentrate on honing in the racing craft ahead of the world championships so the skaters just have to keep reminding themselves to focus on the little details as that is what will make them champions.”