Scots win national titles at British Figure Skating Championships

Scottish skaters scooped gold medals in pairs skating and ice dance

Scottish skaters have won national titles in ice dance and pairs at the British Figure Skating Championships.

Both Prestwick-born ice dancer Lewis Gibson and his partner Lilah Fear and Dundee pairs team Anastasia Vaipan-Law and Luke Digby won gold in the senior categories at the national championships in Sheffield.

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Both are likely to be selected for the British teams to compete in both the European and World Figure Skating Championships next year.

Gibson and Fear scored 228.78 overall to win their sixth national title – smashing their personal best of 215.19, which they scored in their gold medal win at the NHK Trophy Grand Prix last weekend. In second place were Phebe Bekker and James Hernandez, with a score of 190.77, who are competing on the senior circuit for the first time after winning fourth place in the Junior World Figure Skating Championships last year – and who are set to compete in Europeans and Worlds alongside Gibson and Fear.

Gibson and Fear, who are ranked in the top few ice dancers in the world will be competing at the Grand Prix final in China this weekend. They will be vying for a spot on the podium, alongside five other teams, including world champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates, from the US and European champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, from Italy.

Vaipan-Law and Digby, who train at Dundee Ice Arena, won the overall pairs competition, despite a free skate that saw them placed second behind Lydia Smart and Harry Mattick of Swindon, who smashed their personal best to score 105.29 in the free skate and 156.30 overall. Vaipan-Law and Digby scored 163.50 overall, seven points ahead of Smart and Mattick.

Both Vaipan-Law and Digby and Smart and Mattick have the minimum required scores for the European and World Championships, however, while there are two British spots available for Europeans, there is only one for Worlds – which Vaipan-Law and Digby hope to win.

In the women’s competition, Nina Povey pipped Kristen Spours to win the national title, which has been held by a Dundee skater every year since 2011 until now.

Spours said: “It’s been a tough six months. I’m proud to be out there with my team by my side, may the future be bright and may we continue to have many laughs along the way.”

Mens’ champion Edward Appleby, who last year placed 17th in the world at Junior level, posted a picture of himself holding his trophy on Instagram. He competed in last year’s senior competition for the British national title, placing second behind Graham Newberry, who did not compete at nationals this year due to an injury and who recently moved to the US.

He said: “Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get this far, thank you to everyone who has supported me.”