Manchester skier Anna Kamaly-Asl believes her Ski Cross pedigree was what helped her claim a stunning podium finish at the 2017 English Alpine Championships in Bormio on Wednesday.
The 12-year-old finished third in the English girls under-12 Combi race, an event which is aimed at aiding the development of the ‘minis’.
The fun course on the Italian resort’s Stella Alpina piste was made up of Giant Slalom and Slalom gates, berms and a jump, and tested all elements of technical skiing.
And Worsley resident Kamaly-Asl took full advantage of the stunning conditions to send down a lightning-fast first run which was good enough for third place, despite not being able to improve her time on her second attempt down the course.
“I was really happy with both my runs today,” said the Manchester High School for Girls student. “I probably could have done a bit better, but I was happy with my first run.
“I also do Ski Cross – I am in the Home Nations Squad – which has similarities to the Combi race, so I knew I could do well.
“I got into skiing when I was young, and now ski at Chill Factore twice a week. When I saw people skiing when I was small I just knew it was something I wanted to do.
“I love the speed of racing and also how technical it is. My school are so supportive and try and let me train or race at every opportunity.”
The Championships are celebrating their tenth year in Bormio, with over 400 of the country’s most talented skiers – ranging from under-10s to senior racers – flocking to the Italian resort to battle it out for the coveted English titles.
Most of Britain’s most revered racers of recent times competed in the Championships during the early stages of their careers, including four-time Olympian Chemmy Alcott and current racers Cara Brown and Dave Ryding.
And having competed at the Championships herself during the early stages of her career, Alcott believes that the competition is unmissable for any budding British racer.
“It’s a big part of the calendar for me still and I really enjoy coaching here now. It’s an amazing race series and I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she said.
“The World Championships are on in St Moritz at the moment but I wanted to make some time to come here.
“Winning your first national title is a huge stepping stone to believe in yourself, get sponsorship and so on.
“Everyone is here from British skiing, so it’s really competitive racing and success here should give you huge confidence that you can achieve what you want in the sport.”
Follow the English Alpine Championships on the Snowsport England Facebook page and get live updates on Twitter @SnowsportEng. Full results will be available at www.snowsportengland.org.uk while you can find your nearest slope offering value-for-money GO SKI GO BOARD sessions at www.goskigoboard.org.uk