Scots figure skaters holding top places at national championships

Karly Robertson (l) and Natasha McKay (r) with fellow Dundee skater Anastasia Vaipan Law.
Karly Robertson (l) and Natasha McKay (r) with fellow Dundee skater Anastasia Vaipan Law.
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Scottish figure skaters ranked in three top spots after their first round performances in the British National Figure Skating Championships today.

Former title holder Karly Robertson was placed in first position in the senior ladies’s competition after the short programme with a score of 55.19, just beating last year’s gold medal winner Natasha McKay who scored 53.75.

Meanwhile, ice dancer Lewis Gibson, from Prestwick and his partner Lilah Fear were ranked in second position after their rhythm dance, when they scored 61.82 behind Joseph Buckland and Robynne Tweedale.

Gibson and Fear are considered serious international competitors after a strong performance in the Grand Prix season, where they ranked fifth and fourth place respectively at the competitions in the US and Japan.

However, a fall from Fear hit their score, which was more than four points below their season's best of 66.27 scored at the NHK Trophy in Japan.

Both McKay and Robertson said they were disappointed with their performances in the short programme, where they both missed planned jumps, but still placed in the top spots.

The skaters will hope to maintain their positions during the free programmes tomorrow, while Gibson and Fear will hope a strong performance in the free dance could help them rise to the gold medal spot.

Robertson, who, with McKay, trains at Dundee Ice Arena under coaching team Simon and Debi Briggs, said: “We were disappointed with our scores – I missed a double axel, which was a big mistake for me to make. But while it could have been better, it also could have been worse.”

McKay, who is currently the only solo female skater with a score which qualifies her for the World Championships, which take place next year in Japan, added: “I just need to do what I can tomorrow and skate as cleanly and well as possible.”

A third Dundee skater, Katie Powell, placed fifth with a score of 47.78 - a personal best for the season.

Danielle Harrison, who also skates at Dundee, was forced to withdraw from the competition yesterday due to injury.

The British Figure Skating Championships have already proved successful for Scottish skaters in the junior categories, with three competitors from Dundee Ice Arena having taken silver medal spots in their respective categories, including Anastasia Vaipan Law, who won the silver medal in the junior ladies category.