REDDITCH has another short track speed skating star in the making in the shape of ten-year-old Antony Madkins.
No doubt inspired by seeing the town’s Charlotte Gilmartin in action at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia earlier this year, Antony has qualified for the Short Track Speed Skating British Championships after achieving a National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain (NISA) medal test time of 46.4 seconds over 333m at Solihull Ice Rink earlier this month.
The test was organised by Mohawks Ice Racing Club – based at the rink – and of which 2012/13 European Championship 1,500m bronze medallist Gilmartin is also a member along with fellow Olympians Jon Eley and Richard Shoebridge.
Having proved his credentials Antony, who is coached by Vancouver 2010 Olympian Tom Iveson, will now compete at the British Short Track Championships being held in Nottingham on May 25/26 in the Junior E Category. He will race in the 222m, 333m and 500m events.
Qualifying for the British Championships is a remarkable achievement for Antony, who only started short track speed skating at the end of January when he went for his first lesson at the Mohawks club.
On February 8 – after only five appearances on the ice – Antony entered the Mohawks Open competition and came first in the Novice category, showing he had real potential as he beat far more experienced and older skaters than himself.
Antony’s grandfather Peter Madkins – a Mohawk himself back in the 1950s – spotted his talent when he saw him inline skating at a local roller disco and said he had a natural speed skating style and that the family should take him to Solihull Ice Rink for a go at short track.
Antony’s father Philip said: “For Antony, qualifying for the British Short Track Championships is all about gaining the experience of competing at this level and not just about winning.
“His ambition is to compete at the Winter Olympics representing Team GB with his fellow Mohawks!”
You can see Antony achieving his medal test time by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl-tFPE9Njs.