Speed skater Oliver Gotts has won the Gold Medal at the European Inline Speed Skating Cup Championships, one of Europe’s blue ribbon international championships, and has smashed British records that have stood for 35 years.
The King’s Year 4 pupil who lives in Macclesfield and trains with the Ashbourne Speed Skating club, only took up the sport 18 months ago but has taken the British and European junior divisions by storm.
Oliver won the European Inline Cup Speed Skating event held in Gross-Gerau in Germany at the end of April. One of the biggest events the sport’s calendar, there were over 900 skaters from 40 nations. He won the eight and under category in what was his first international outing, only months after winning two silver medals in the British Indoor Championships.
His mum Nicola said: “He loves every minute. He even skates to and from school and goes to the Macclesfield rink as often as he can, travelling up to Ashbourne to work with coach Ben Gaskin on Saturday mornings.”
The European Championship saw a titanic clash against German national champion Leon Dinter, with Oliver setting a time of 2.12.143 in the first 1000 metre race, beating the longstanding British record at his age level and the age above by just over a second. He then won the 300 metre sprint in 38.663 beating two further British records setting up a breath-taking 500 metre race in which he sealed the title with a gap of over one-and-a-half seconds between himself and the German competitor.
Oliver said: “It’s important to use all the track and try as much as you can to race in a circle rather than an oval. This means you brake less and don’t lose speed. The speed comes from the push and then it’s about balance.”
Oliver is now looking forward to the British Outdoor Championships in July and in August he will compete in another international event in Belgium, followed by the British Marathon Championships in Kent.
Principal of Kings Infant & Junior Division Caroline Hulme McKibbin said: “We are all very proud of Oliver and are always happy to hear of his endeavours and success.”