Sussex schoolgirl is tenth fastest speedskater in the world

A Brighton schoolgirl has become the tenth fastest U14 female speedskater over 500m in the world.

Alex Snowden
Alex Snowden

Team GB skater and Roedean pupil Alex Snowdon is just 13 years old but achieved a new personal best on the ice this month when she skated 500m in under 50 seconds at a short track competition in Slovakia, officially landing her the global ranking. She is also now officially the fastest female skater in the UK under 18.

Alex also shaved time off her personal best in the 777m and the 1000m while at the competition in Spisska Nova Ves in Slovakia. She is currently 17th in the world rankings for 1000 metres and 2nd over 777 metres as well as 10th over 500 metres, which is the blue riband event in speed skating.

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The achievement is all the more remarkable as she has been, of course, unable to train in lockdown.

Alex Snowden

She said: “The lockdown has been hard as I have not been able to train on the ice for almost five months. I have done my best to keep fit however, by running, working my core with a personal trainer, and by doing speed skating exercises and Zwifting on my bike at home. I have also been doing inline skating when my parents were able to take me to Tatum Park in North London where they have a purpose-built skating oval.”

She added: “I guess my fitness regime at home has paid off."

And Alex looks set to shoot further up the global ladder soon - as all nine girls above her in the rankings are in their final year of her age category, whereas Alex has only just moved into it.

The schoolgirl is focussed on getting selected for the next Youth Winter Olympic Games in South Korea in 2024 and, beyond that, the Italy Winter Olympics in 2026.

Roedean deputy head Dr Ross Barrand said: “Alex always shows complete dedication to her sport even in the face of extreme challenges such as this year’s lockdown. She always strives to be better, which is hugely inspirational to her peers and we are very proud of her!”