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GB short track skaters prepare for first World Cup of season

GB short track skaters prepare for first World Cup of season
By Sportsbeat

26/10/2017 at 11:38Updated 26/10/2017 at 14:26

The path to PyeongChang is firmly on for Great Britain's short track speed skaters as the season gets underway with the first World Cup of the year.

Taking place in Hungary, each competition could be one step closer to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games for British stars, with triple world champion Elise Christie among those taking to the ice.

The 27-year-old became the 500m world record holder only last season, meaning the number one cap falls firmly on her head ahead of next February's winter showcase.

A trip to Budapest marks the first of four Olympic qualifying events in the ISU World Cup series, with the best three results across the series determining those who will head to South Korea.

More than 250 athletes are set to take part in Hungary, with overall British champion, World Cup and European Championship medallist Charlotte Gilmartin also flying the flag.

"The team are looking forward to the series of Olympic qualifiers," said performance director Stewart Laing.

"The team have arrived in Budapest in really good shape and training sessions on ice are giving us a lot of confidence. The Hungarians have put on a really good temporary ice rink for what's set to be a promising and exciting competition.

"Unlike regular World Cups, these events are about qualifying Olympic spots. Skaters need to finish in the top 32, or top 36 for 1500m in order to qualify nation spots for the Games, therefore Great Britain are approaching these competitions with a team focus working together to collectively qualify those spots."

Athletes can compete in individual distances of 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m while a men's 5,000m and ladies 3,000m relay will be contested until the World Cup concludes on Sunday.