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Ice Dancing: Deeside skaters Louise Walden and Owen Edwards claim international crown

GOLDEN couple Louise Walden and Owen Edwards have earned international honours by wowing judges in Graz, Austria.

The Deeside skaters came first in the Senior Ice Dance Couples discipline in the Ice Challenge competition.

The Great Britain Performance Team members can now add gold to their 2009 Senior British Championship bronze medals.

They were not the only GB couple to do well, as Annika Maczka and Henry Aiken, from Guilford in Surrey, achieved gold in the advanced novice age group.

The annual Ice Challenge is regarded as Austria’s flagship ice skating event and attracts more than 100 skaters from countries including Ukraine, Slovenia, Australia and Hungary.

It is also formally recognised by the International Skating Union (ISU).

The Deeside Ice Skating Club members, who are trained by Olympic, world and European coaches Muriel Zazoui and Romain Haugenauer, followed that up with a fifth place in France in the International Cup of Nice.

The Deeside Ice Rink duo’s success has come at a crucial time for them as they try to make the step up into the world’s elite and possibly even Great Britain’s Winter Olympic team.

Keith Horton, chief executive of the National Ice Skating Association, said: “I’m thrilled at the results.

“Once again we see that our young skaters are up with the best in the world and can compete at the highest level.

“We now have a stream of talent coming through the British team and I look forward to a promising season of ice figure skating.”

The couple will be hoping their recent form continues when they return to Sheffield for this year’s British Championships on November 22-27.

There they will be competing against the best of British for the Senior British Ice Dance title but more importantly, if they win they will guarantee their place in the European and World Championships.

Tickets are now on sale for the competition.

To buy, visit: www.arenaticketshop.co.uk