Scottish figure skater scoops national title for sixth time

Two Scottish figure skaters have scooped their national titles for the fifth and sixth times respectively

Natasha Mckay, fro Dundee, won the women's national title for the sixth time.
Natasha Mckay, fro Dundee, won the women's national title for the sixth time.

Natasha McKay came back from second place after the short programme, when she scored 61.07, to win her sixth British title in the women’s competition, while ice dancer Lewis Gibson, with partner Lilah Fear, won the national gold medal for the fifth time.

In a close race in the women’s competition, Kirsten Spours - who was lying in first place following the short programme, where she beatMcKay, by 0.65 points - slipped to third after receiving a free skate score of 106.34, leaving her 1.9 points overall behind McKay, who trains in Dundee.

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Ms McKay, who hinted at her retirement following this season while competing in the John Wilson Trophy Grand Prix in Sheffield last month, scored 107.98 in the free skate and an overall score of 169.05.

Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson from Prestwick scooped their fifth British nationl title in Sheffield.

She said: "I was so happy with my performance here and to win my sixth title was amazing. It was a great event with a lot of good skates which made it even more special.

"I was a little surprised not to be leading after the short programme, but that made me even more determined to bounce back and win it in the free skate."

Her coach, Simon Briggs, said: “Six titles is staggering and thoroughly deserved. She is a true inspiration to so many youngsters in the sport. A true champion."

Prestwick-born Gibson and partner Fear scored a season’s best in the free programme of 126.63, giving them an overall score of 205.77. A slip in the rhythm dance cost them a two point deduction. Meanwhile, Anthony Currie and Eleanor Hirst won the silver medal, with a score of 114.21, followed by Charlotte Man and Toby Palmer in Bronze.

Gibson and Fear are to compete in the final of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Turin, Italy, next weekend, for the first time, after winning silver at their two Grand Prix assignments of the John WIilson Trophy and Skate Canada, earlier in the season.

Gibson told The Scotsman: “I’m super happy with how we skated today. It’s always such a special honour to etch our names again on to one of the most prestigious trophies in Great Britain sports.”

Anastasia Vaipan-Law and Luke Digby, who also train at Dundee, placed first in the pairs competition, with an overall score of 160.96 – smashing their personal best scores in an International Skating Union competition. The only other competitors in the category were Harry Mattick and Lydia Smart, from Swindon, who scored 138.56 overall.

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In the men’s competition, Graham Newberry won the gold medal, followed by Edward Appleby. Dundee's Elliot Thompson was forced to withdraw before the competition began due to a boot issue.