Skating: Sheffield success caps golden year for Bagen

Figure skater Lana Bagen has capped off a positive 2010 with the best result of her career, taking gold at the British Championships in Sheffield.

The 14-year-old Edinburgh Academy pupil finished first in the under-16 category, beating off a host of quality performers, and in 2011 she looks set to move up to under-19 level in a number of competitions.

Bagen, from Livingston, won her first medal in figure skating at Deeside Ice rink in North Wales when she was just eight. She had taken up the sport a year earlier after becoming enthralled by watching skaters at a rink in East Kilbride.

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Bagen said: "I asked my gran if I could go on and skate and that's where my dreams started. I love the adrenaline before you are about to skate in a competition because it just makes me feel more determined."

She is a member of the Olympia Figure Skating Club in East Kilbride and is coached and mentored by Leanne Collins. She also does work with Alice Fell at Murrayfield ice rink in Edinburgh and trains six days most weeks.

"Leanne has coached me throughout my years of skating, from the day I was trying a three jump loop until now. I have been coached by Alice for around five years and both she and Leanne have helped me with everything," said Bagen, who lists her favourite skaters as Yu Na Kim, Mao Asada and Yvgeni Plushenko.

Since that first medal win, she has moved from strength to strength and has passed 21 ice skating tests. She gained her first under-16 Scottish cap in the national home countries event in April 2008 where she finished first.

She then went on to qualify and compete in her first British Championships in January 2009, finishing in fifth place, a great effort for one of the youngest competitors involved.

In April last year she won her first under-16 Great Britain cap after being selected to perform at an international competition in Italy. From there she went on to win a silver medal for Great Britain in Slovakia last year in the IJS novice ladies event.

The last 12 months have featured gold medals at the Lee Valley IJS event, the Sheffield IJS meet and top five placings at other high profile events culminating in British glory. She has so far won 32 gold medals, eight silver and two bronze in open and club competitions across the UK and internationally and her mother Lorraine said: "She puts in so much hard work and effort and it takes up a lot of her time, but it is worth it because it is her passion."