Scottish skaters scoop gold at national championships

Gibson and Fear scored a personal best at the British Figure Skating Championships.
Gibson and Fear scored a personal best at the British Figure Skating Championships.
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Scottish figure skaters are set to represent Britain on the elite international competition circuit after scooping gold medals at national championships.

Both the female solo skater category and ice dance were won by Scottish skaters at the British Figure Skating Championships in a nail biting competition, with the silver medal in the ladies’ competition also taken by a Scot.

Natasha McKay from Dundee won gold at the national championships.

Natasha McKay from Dundee won gold at the national championships.

Natasha McKay was named the gold medallist in the female solo skater category for the second year in a row, just pipping Karly Robertson to the top spot. Both skaters are trained at Dundee Ice Arena by elite coaching team Simon and Debi Briggs.

Meanwhile, Prestwick-born Lewis Gibson and his partner Lilah Fear also won gold in the ice dance category after a faultless performance in the free dance programme which beat their personal best by almost seven points.

The pair, who enjoyed a successful Grand Prix season, had a disappointing skate in the rhythm dance section on Friday at IceSheffield, coming second behind Robynne Tweedale and Joseph Buckland. However, they propelled themselves into first place with a free dance score of 120.07, and an overall score of 181.89, 89 - above the 177.2 they achieved at the NHK Trophy in Japan last month.

Both Gibson and McKay are now set - pending confirmation from the national ice skating body - to compete for Great Britain at the European Championships in Minsk in January and the World Championships in Japan later next year. Meanwhile, Gibson and Fear, who train in Montreal with renowned French coach Romain Haguenauer and also have a base in London, have their sights set on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Gibson said: "We were happy after yesterday to deliver a strong skate. We wanted to put yesterday behind us and have started afresh today. It was very good for a national score."

McKay, who had also been in second place after Friday's short programme behind Robertson, said: “I am really pleased, but I'm glad it's over and I'm glad I've won."

Coach Debi Briggs said: "It was probably the most nervy British Championships I've been at.Neither Karly nor Tash skated their best, but it came down to the training they have put in and they did enough to hold it."

McKay scored 98.12 in the free dance and 151.87 overall, while Robertson scored 95.80 in the free dance, to make a total score of 150.99.

Dundee skater Katie Powell also performed well, ranking fourth in the ladies competition, with an overall competition score of 140.87.