KILMARNOCK short track speed skater Kathryn Thomson hailed the greatest result of her young career as she powered to silver in the 500m at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Romania.
Thomson looked in supreme form in the morning’s qualifiers, including a new personal best time of 46.087seconds in her semi-final, to set up an intriguing final face-off with Russia’s Sofia Prosvirnova.
The 17-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable season, even representing the senior British team on the World Cup circuit and the European Championships, held in Malmo in Sweden last month.
And, despite settling for second best behind the Russian, who won the 1500m in Brasov on Sunday, after clocking 46.176, Thomson was thrilled to pick up a major medal.
“This is a fantastic feeling, to be the first medallist for Team GB is great and I’m very proud,” said the former Grange Academy pupil, who now lives and trains in Nottingham.
“I was quite nervous before the final, this was my first major final abroad but I had a good lane draw so I wanted to just get off the start and settle into the race. I managed to do that and I’m pleased with my performance throughout the whole day. The flower ceremony was really exciting, it was all very official and I felt very special so I’m delighted with how it went.”
Thomson had crashed out of Sunday’s opening 1500m event at the semi-final stage, her least preferred discipline, but the sprinter was back to her best yesterday. With the 1000m still to come this week in Romania, Thomson hopes to add to her medal tally before returning home at the end of the week.
“I’m feeling good,” she added. “I was in a bit of a pain after Sunday but this has given me back a bit of confidence. This is great time to be a short track speed skater with Elise Christie doing so well in the seniors and this is a big result for me.”
l The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. www.olympics.org.uk