A NIMBLE schoolgirl has been ranked in the top ten fastest speed skaters in the world for her age group, despite not being able to train during lockdown.

Alex Snowdon, a Team GB skater who attends Roedean School in Brighton, has officially become the tenth fastest speed skater in the under-14 girls category for 500m.

The 13-year-old achieved a new personal best on the ice this month when she skated 500m in less than 50 seconds at a short track competition in Slovakia.

It means the talented teen is also officially now the fastest female speed skater under 18 in the UK.

Her achievement is all the more remarkable as she has not been able to train properly during the coronavirus crisis.

Alex 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 using the Zwift application to train 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.

“I guess my fitness regime at home has paid off.’

While at the ice skating competition in Spisska Nova Ves in Slovakia, Alex also shaved time off her personal best in the 777m and the 1,000m.

As well as ranking tenth in the world for her age category over 500 metres, which is the blue riband event in speed skating, Alex currently ranks at 17th in the world rankings for the 1,000m and is second for the over 777 metres.

The pupil 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 focused 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.”