BRITISH figure skating champion David Richardson just missed out on a place at the world stage.
The 23-year-old scored a season’s best at the World Championships in Moscow, but it was not enough to get him through to the finals.
It is the second time this season he has missed out, failing to land a place at the European Championships by just 0.9 points.
But Richardson, who first learnt to skate at Whitley Bay Ice Rink, can look back on the season so far after being crowned British Male Champion in Sheffield last November, earning a personal best of 161.14 points.
At the World Championships in Moscow, Richardson again performed his long routine to Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ putting in a solid skate which earned him 93.20 points – his best all season at an international competition.
Afterwards he said: “I was looking forward to competing on the world stage and was determined to give it my all.
“I am delighted with my performance, particularly as this was my first appearance at the World Championships and to gain a season’s best, beating some of those who are top seeded skaters, is a good indication that I’m on the right track.”
Richardson is now optimistic for the future, saying: “I have had a tough, long and difficult season but I have gained in confidence and belief.
“I have attended both the European Championships and the World Championships for the first time only just missing out on a final place.
“I now look to next season with excitement and ambition.”
He added: “Although I don’t have access to the same opportunities as the leading world skaters on the international stage, I know that I am just as good as them.”
Coach Joy Sutcliffe said: “David’s had his best season so far and so much more lies ahead for him but there’s also a lot of hard work.
“People don’t realise that David has no sponsorship and works to support his talent but despite this, I’m sure David can continue with his skating commitments and improve year upon year to earn a place as an elite international skater.”
After returning from Moscow, Richardson will have a couple of weeks rest and then begin to plan his new routines for the forthcoming 2011-12 season which starts in September.