September 30th, 2016

Speed skating stars set for British stage

REDDITCH brothers Antony and Nathan Madkins are preparing for the British Short Track Speed Skating Championships having qualified in style for the Nottingham Ice Centre event (January 2/3).

At the national time trials held at Solihull Ice Rink in November, Antony and Nathan both performed superbly as they recorded personal best times.

In their respective age categories 11-year-old Antony was more than five seconds inside the 500m target time required and his eight-year-old brother Nathan was more than four seconds inside his target time for the 222m.

Both boys are members of Solihull-based Mohawks Ice Racing Club (MIRC), as is Redditch’s Sochi 2014 Olympian Charlotte Gilmartin and recently retired fellow Olympian Jon Eley, who was Team GB’s flag-bearer in Russia.

Gilmartin, 25, who recently won her first World Cup medal in GB colours with a bronze in the A final of the 1,500m in Shanghai, will also be in action in Nottingham in the women’s events.

At last year’s British Championship Antony finished in fourth position from 16 competitors but will face tougher opposition this year as this will be his first year in a higher age category.

However, he still feels he has a realistic chance of a podium position if he can produce his best form over the two days of competition.

Antony has had some good results this season including two overall second places at two separate meetings to Theo Collins of Aldwych who is British record holder and British champion in 2015.

For younger brother Nathan this will be his first British Championship and he will compete in the ten years and under category.

Being only eight years old means he can race in this category for another two years, so he can use this championship as good experience.

Nathan has had a fine season so far and his best result was an overall third place at the Guildford Open in November.

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