Wadeson claims third place

Michael Wadeson and Olga Olsanikova, right, on the podium after finishing third in the pairs competition.
Michael Wadeson and Olga Olsanikova, right, on the podium after finishing third in the pairs competition.

A FORMER Morecambe High School pupil took on some of the world’s best at an international figure skating competition in Germany recently.

Michael Wadeson, 37, and partner Olga Olsanikova, finished third in the International Skating Union’s Competition in Oberstdorf at the end of last month, equalling their best ever performance in the competition in 2010.

The two-time British champions, who missed out on a hat-trick in Sheffield this year by just a third of a point, are now planning to move up a level from adult pairs skating to the masters category, after an impressive performance in the unofficial world championships.

Michael, now based in Hemel Hempstead, said: “It’s not strictly the world championships, but is a massive amateur open competition so is the closest thing to it.

“We can’t complain with third place and next year we’re going to move up to masters, which means bigger jumps and overhead lifts so it’s going to be a steep learning curve.”

Michael also came out on top in the singles competition as part of a great week for the pair.

He said: “There was two of us, so I was head to head with another guy and I managed to beat him by a couple of points.

“It’s the first time I’d completed the routine so it went pretty well, but the singles was just a warm up for the pairs.”

Olga and Michael, who have been skating together for around three-and-a-half years, have sometimes struggled to find time to train around their full-time jobs but a change in the former Lancaster resident’s work circumstances has made a difference.

Michael said: “I’m now working at the local ice rink. Our practice and rink time is free so things have been a lot easier for us, which is important with the move up in class.”

Olga said: “This is a personal best. We did what was needed to place but the next year will be much harder with the move to masters.”