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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Carlisle ice skater and partner battle through pain barrier to land national title

Ice skating star David King has secured his eighth senior championship – despite he and his partner carrying serious injuries.

David King photo
David King and Stacey Kemp

The Carlisle-born sportsman could have been forgiven if he appeared to have had trouble even walking as he is suffering from an ankle ligament tear.

But he put his pain aside to dance on the ice to take the title at the British Figure Skating and Synchro Championships.

And what’s even more remarkable is that dance partner Stacey Kemp was also crocked, recovering from a posterior cruciate ligament rupture. Yet even failing to fire on all power, the pair proved they were a hard act to beat in an arena they’ve dominated for years.

They had missed eight weeks-worth of skating through their ailments but were determined to feature in the championships and sealed their win in the senior pairs category with a 94.64 score.

David, 27, said: “It was difficult as we were both injured and at about 70 per cent. We normally score around 155 so that shows just how much it affected us. We got checked over by the team doctor last week. I’m not too bad now but Stacey’s still a bit worried about her knee.”

The triumph at iceSheffield comes as reward for the gruelling training schedule undertaken by both skaters at their Ellenton base in Florida.

David briefly returned to his home village of Curthwaite, near Thursby, after the competition.

Their attentions now turn to January’s European Figure Skating Championships in Zagreb, where they will attempt to qualify for the World Championships in Ontario.

With the Winter Olympics of 2014 just around the corner, King is keen to push on, with the eventual aim of gaining a medal in Sochi. He hopes that the experience of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where they achieved a 16th-place finish, will stand them in good stead.

“It was amazing, immense. The atmosphere in the British team was brilliant. There was no pressure as it wasn’t a home crowd, unlike at London 2012.” he said. “We’re trying our best, but it’s a Russia-dominated sport at the minute.”

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