A team of 11 skaters has been selected to represent Australia at the 2023 World Speed Skating Championships in Italy.
From August 26 to September 3, the world’s best speed skaters will descend on Montecchio Maggiore/Vicenza for multiple disciplines and events.
The Australian team has skaters competing in four categories; Junior Mens and Ladies, Senior Mens and Ladies respectively.
The team will be headlined by experienced skater Harry Stogdale who has represented Australia at international events for over a decade. He will be joined by 2023 Oceania Championship athletes Joe Bennett and Daniel Bithell alongside 2018 Youth Olympic Games athlete Alex Myint in the Senior Men's division.
After competing in the Junior Ladies division last year, Asha Hickford will make her Senior Ladies World Championships debut in Italy. She will provide valuable insights and guidance for the Junior Ladies representatives Rhiannon Bryant, Leah Crisp and Lahna Meadows.
Rounding out the team in the Junior Mens will be representatives Raiden Dolder, Harry Geary and Tyler Robertson all of who will look to improve on their previous results at a representative level.
Harry Stogdale is once again looking forward to representing Australia at the international level.
“This competition is the best of the best in our sport, so it’s truly an achievement and an electric feeling to hear your name read out as selected,” he said.
“I’m blessed to have been given this chance a number of times in my career and let me say it’s not something that loses its shine!”
For Asha Hickford, this year’s World Speed Skating Championships marks an exciting milestone, as the 19 year old steps up a grade to compete as the only skater in the Senior Ladies category.
“I raced as a junior last year, this year I will be racing as a senior against much older, more experienced skaters,” she said.
“It will definitely be harder than last year but I am hoping my training and dedication pay off and I can perform at my best.”
Team manager Pauline Robertson shared her thoughts on how the team is coming together ahead of the competition.
“We are fortunate to have a number of talented skaters who will be heading to Italy for this year’s competition,” said Ms Robertson.
“This campaign will see skaters from all stages of their careers representing Australia, we all can’t wait for the competition to get underway.”
The World Speed Skating Championships begins with official practice on 23 August. Find out more on the World Skate website here.
Australian Team named for World Speed Skating Championships
Rhiannon Bryant (SkateFX Adelaide)
Leah Crisp (Eltham Speed Skating Club Victoria)
Lahna Meadows (Eltham Speed Skating Club Victoria)
Asha Hickford (Cobras Roller-skating Club WA)
Raiden Dolder (Logan City Speed Skating Club)
Harry Geary (Sk8house Victoria)
Tyler Robertson (Morley Panthers Roller-skating Club WA)
Joe Bennett (Cobras Roller-skating Club)
Daniel Bithell (Caribbean Speed Club – Victoria)
Alex Myint (Morley Panthers Roller-skating Club WA)
Harry Stogdale (Eltham Speed Skating Club Victoria)