PORTSMOUTH skier Nadine Hugec insists there is still plenty more to come from her this week after continuing her fine run of form on the opening day of the English Alpine Championships.
With over 400 of the country’s best alpine skiers descending upon the Italian resort of Bormio this week for the 20th running of the event, which is organised by national governing body Snowsport England, Hugec had her work cut out.
But the 14-year-old Portsmouth Grammar School student – who trains with the Evolution Racing team – notched up her first podium of the week in her opening race, coming third in the under-14 giant slalom race on a tricky Stella Alpina course in an overall time of 103.11sec.
Just 0.26 seconds separated her from second place, with Sophie Foster (103.08) just beating her out.
Meanwhile, Daisi Daniels (97.56) took the top spot on the podium.
But with more national titles on offer later this week, Hugec is targeting her favoured slalom event for more success.
‘I am really happy with my result,’ she said.
‘There may have been some faster racers out there who would have beaten me, but they skied out.
‘So I was happy that I got on the podium and it goes to show how important it is to actually make sure you post two times.
‘I was glad that I got a result, as in some of my recent races I have been skiing out and not getting the results I wanted.
‘It shows training is paying off, which is really satisfying.
‘Slalom is definitely my favoured discipline, so I am looking forward to those races later this week and I will try and go well in them.’
The English Alpine Championships help provide an early glimpse of the stars of tomorrow, with British Olympians Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding both having competed at the competition.
And Olympian Ed Drake, who is attending the English Alpine Championships for the first time in a coaching capacity for DHO racing, insists the Championships give the likes of Hugec the perfect platform to keep impressing on the international stage.
He said: ‘Nowadays these races are the biggest ones that these kids will do.
‘You’ve got opportunities to shine at Christmas, half-term, and Easter, so it’s a really big deal.
‘In terms of numbers, the English Alpine Championships are really kicking off now. When I was here this was a much smaller event.
‘It’s great to see this competition pushing on – there’s over 400 entries here which is huge – and it just goes to show the huge passion for skiing in Britain.
‘These kids want to reach the pinnacle of world winter sports, and it is important to do well here as it is a step on the way to that.
‘The kids love it, too. There is a massive buzz about the place and they are all racing their mates so the drive is really there to win.”
n The English Alpine Championships, organised by Snowsport England, are run every year in the Italian resort of Bormio.
Follow the action via.englishalpinechamps.org.uk or @SnowsportEng on Twitter.
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