The Ice Skating Association of Ireland has been granted provisional membership for speed skating by the International Skating Union, the international sport federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the sole organisation responsible for the administration of ice skating globally.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ISU Council at the recently held 56th ISU Ordinary Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia following an application for speed skating membership submitted by the ISAI in May. The ISAI has been a member for figure skating since 2008.
The approval of the ISAI’s application means that from 1 July 2016 speed skating members of the association will be able to represent Ireland in international competitions.
ISAI President Karen O’Sullivan hailed the decision by the ISU Council and said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ISU for granting the ISAI provisional membership for speed skating. We are delighted with this news and are looking forward to growing speed skating in Ireland and internationally.”
Speed skating consists of two disciplines – (long track) speed skating and short track speed skating.
In (long track) speed skating, skaters race in pairs, counter-clockwise on a 400 metre oval, starting in the competition lane determined by the draw, and change lanes during each lap over a selection of racing distances. The skater with the fastest time of all the competitors is deemed to be the winner of that race distance.
In short track speed skating a pack of four to six skaters race against each other rather than against the clock over a selection of racing distances. The first skater to cross the finishing line is deemed to be the winner of that race distance.