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Newark speed skater Sophie Robertson competed in the 1,500m, 1,000m and 500m distances at the uropean Youth Olympic Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina


By Connor Thompson


Youth Olympian Sophie Robertson said she had never experienced anything like European Youth Olympic Festival.

Having competed in three events, Newark’s speed skater admitted she didn’t have the best week of racing, but said she took a lot away from the experience of competing at the games.

Held in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Robertson finished 31st in both the 1,500m and 1,000m, and 30th in the 500m.

SOPHIE ROBERTSON at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Credit: Garry Bowden/Sportinpictures.
SOPHIE ROBERTSON at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Credit: Garry Bowden/Sportinpictures.

Robertson, 15, said: “I didn’t race my best this week, but I came to EYOF wanting to enjoy the experience.

“I’ve learnt a lot about myself and it will hopefully help me in the future at other international competitions that I’d like to attend.

“I’ve really enjoyed it ­— I have learnt what the bigger competitions are like.

“It’s not been the normal competition. I’ve raced against a few of those girls before, but a lot of them compete at a much higher level than I do so it was good to race against them.”

On day one Robertson placed 31st in the heats, which saw her fail to qualify through to the final stages, while Great Britain team-mate Olivia Weedon, of Guildford, reached the B final and finished ninth overall.

“I don’t normal race in the 1,500m, so I was able to learn how to race it, especially in a bigger competition,” Robertson said.

Day two saw her return to short track speed skating, facing the 500m distance, where she finished was again knocked out in the first round.

Great Britain team-mate Weedon had the most success as she crossed the line fourth, before finishing 15th overall.

Robertson had to wait three days for her next race, where she finished 30th again, this time in the 1,000m distance at the Slavija Stadium ­— a 25,556 multi-sport capacity arena

Despite not getting the results she wanted, she said she enjoyed the experience and the opening ceremony was something she will never forget.

“My stand out moment was at the opening ceremony with all the stadium cheering you on,” said Robertson. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”



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