Ireland’s national champion Clara Peters once again showed her mettle in Sheffield this afternoon at the Europe an Figure Skating Championships 2012 during the ladies preliminary round and qualified to skate in the next stage of the event at the Motorpoint Arena on Friday.
Peters was up against 22 other skaters from around Europe and she skated second in the draw. Normally, an early start is seen as a disadvantage, but the 20 year old Dubliner performed flawlessly to “Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff. She included two double axel jumps with difficult spins and footwork among other elements to score 69.92 points which represents a new personal best and put her in eighth place. Only the top ten qualify to compete in the short programme which takes place on Friday afternoon.
Peters, aged 20 , was born in Essen, Germany when her parents worked out there but the family returned to Terenure, in Dublin, when she was 18 months old. To achieve success in the sport she started off as a seven years old at the Silver Skate Ice Rink in Phibsboro’ but when that closed her Mum used to drive her regularly to Dundonald in Northern Ireland. She later recognised it would be necessary to go abroad if she were to become a ‘serious’ competitor – she went to Florida in 2006 to train initially under the renowned ice skating coach Kerry Leetch and later moved to the University of Delaware training with Ron and Karen Ludington. Her aim now, as it has been since she was very little, is to become Ireland’s first ice skating competitor in a Winter Olympics – that of Sochi 2014.