Just a month ahead of Sochi 2014, this weekend has proved a landmark for British Ski and Snowboard athletes with a gold medal for Rowan Cheshire in the World Cup Halfpipe, 10th place in the same competition for Emma Lonsdale, 9th place in the final Tour de Ski Cross Country Ski race for Andrew Musgrave and 2nd for Alpine skier Dave Ryding in the Chamonix Europa Cup Slalom.
Rowan Cheshire is the first ever British female to win a Ski Halfpipe World Cup after her gold medal in Calgary, and alongside Emma Lonsdale it means they have both met Olympic Qualifying Standards and will know on 22nd January whether they have a place on Team GB. Cheshire said: "I am over the moon with my win; it puts me in a good place to qualify for the Games. I had a bit of a bad crash in practice, but I tried to pull it together in the comp even though my heart was racing, and I’m so glad I was able to do that and get my run down how I wanted to. I think it was my 900, the cleanliness of my run and the amplitude which sealed it for me”.
Murray Buchan and James Machon just missed out on a place in the Ski Halfpipe World Cup final, finishing 13th and 16th respectively. The results mean they have now met the Olympic Qualifying Standard. They will also know on 22nd January whether they have a quota spot for the Games.
In the Tour de Ski (the annual event where rounds of the Cross Country World Cup are linked together) Andrew Musgrave had an outstanding result yesterday coming 9th in the 9km Free Final Climb Pursuit in Val di Fiemme, sealing him 27th overall in the Tour de Ski. Unprecedented for a British Cross Country skier.
In Alpine Skiing, Dave Ryding had a great result on Friday evening finishing 2nd in the first of two Europa Cup Slalom’s in Chamonix. Ryding said of the podium place: “It was a fantastic result behind Jean-Baptiste Grange who was World Champion three years ago. I can really take confidence from the way I am skiing at the moment and Sochi is still a long way away for me so I don't need to think about it just now. I am just taking it race by race, pushing myself and trying to improve." Saturday was not quite as successful with Ryding skiing out on his second run, despite a strong first run. He will now compete in the Slalom in the Alpine World Cup in Bormio today.
Jai Geyer also competed in the Europa Cup Slalom in Chamonix. On Friday he had a decent first run, narrowly missing out on qualification for the second run. On Saturday he DNF the first run.
In the World Cup Moguls in Calgary, Ellie Koyander came in 35th in the Ladies competition, with Max Willis not starting the competition.
For full profiles of all British Ski and Snowboard athletes visit www.teambss.org.uk or the Ski Club of Great Britain website www.skiclub.co.uk/britisheliteathletes. For all FIS schedules and results visitwww.fis-ski.com.