Tassie skaters sparkle at Crystal Challenge

TWELVE figure skaters and ice dancers from the Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink recently travelled to Melbourne to compete in the Crystal Challenge Trophy.

The event was one of only three national ranking competitions to be held across Australia in 2015, attracting a large field of ice skaters from around the country.

Despite being disadvantaged by training on an ice surface four times smaller than those in other states, the Tasmanian athletes returned triumphant, with 11 trophies between them.

Figure Skating Association of Tasmania president Rowena Conway said she was thrilled with the results.

“We are very proud of all of our ice skaters representing Tasmania interstate,” she said.

“It is fantastic to see their dedication and hard work paying off with results such as these.”

The ice dance team, coached by former British Champion ice dancer Joanna May, set off the event.

Eleanor Jetson, of Sandy Bay, performed the fiesta tango in her first interstate competition which earned her a first-place trophy.

Anne Smith, of Brighton, who performed both the silver samba and a foxtrot set to the song “Chandelier” by Australian artist Sia, continued her recent winning streak with a first and second place.

Renee Reid, of Exton, brought home a winning trophy for her silver samba in the adult bronze category.

The artistic figure skating categories, in which ice skaters must portray a character, saw a further three medal placings awarded to Tasmanian skaters.

In the Aussieskate Age 10+ Division, Kimberly Gentile, of Huonville, was narrowly beaten, bringing home the second-place trophy with fellow Tasmanian Eleanor Jetson awarded a bronze for her performance.

The weekend concluded with technical divisions, which saw figure skaters judged on their ability to perfect jumps, spins and complicated footwork sequences.

Olivia and Kimberly, who train as a part of the Synergy figure skating group with Russian coach Oxana Anichkina, both placed first.

In the adult divisions fellow Synergy group member Caitlin Pailthorpe, of Berriedale, brought home a bronze in the adult silver category.

Meanwhile, Chloe Anderson, of North Hobart, who is coached by Sally Nicholson, completed the medal haul with a third-place trophy in the adult bronze competition.

The Tasmanian skaters will now begin training for the Tasmanian State Championships, which will be held at Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink on 17 October 2015.