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Speedskating: Charlotte Gilmartin aims for gold at the World Championships
Mention Speedskating and most people think of the drama surrounding Elise Christie at the Sochi Olympics. But that was three years ago and this weekend both Elise and her teammate Charlotte Gilmartin are heading to the World Championships in Rotterdam with medals in their sights. Sportsister caught up with Charlotte, who’s having her best season ever, to talk about overcoming her nerves and winning medals.
“It’s my first time competing in Rotterdam, but it should be great. Holland has a big skating scene and although they are more into long track skating, short track is starting to build-up now. It’s going to have a great atmosphere, they make it lots of fun with DJ’s and entertainment between races, so its all sold out already.”
“This is the most consistent season I’ve ever had. I’ve won bronze medals at the world cup and European Championships and that has helped me relax, it’s been a massive jump-up from last year.”
Beating the nerves
“I’ve always been so nervous but I’m starting to overcome that. In the past I’ve been so nervous on the startline that my teeth were chattering, But that’s only happened once this season. I’m really good at tactics and I love to race but on the day so much could go wrong. There are so many variables. But I’ve learned to stop overthinking it and now it’s all coming together, the coaching, the results and now my confidence.
My partner Ian made me a collaboration of all my races showing all my best bits – it’s really motivational and proves to me I can do it.”
“We train on the ice two hours a day and also do a lot of gym work so that we can put everything into the ice. My power to weight to ratio is good, so I am working a lot on my technique. For me it’s about maintenance of speed– my top speed is as good as anyone’s, but with the right technique I can maintain it and challenge for medals.”
“My favourite distance is the 500m, it’s also Elise’s (Christie) favourite and she’s better, she really is the strongest girl on the track. We’re completely different racers, she can win by leading, whereas I am more tactical. We push and challenge each other, and train together, we even lived together once! Realistically I am hoping to get a medal in the 1000m, but I would prefer to get one in the 1500.”
Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine