BARNT GREEN skiing sensation Siena Horton is confident she can go one better this time around at the English Alpine Championships after claiming silver in the under 14 overall competition last year.
Horton will be one of 350 of the country’s best alpine skiers to descend upon the Italian resort of Bormio for the 20th English Alpine Championships (February 13-19), organised by national governing body Snowsport England.
However, the Bromsgrove School ace will not be going into the competition cold, having competed for the British team in Andorra already this year.
And, after following up her under 14 overall silver last year with gold at the British Championships, the 13-year-old cannot wait to get back to Bormio again.
“I’ve been training with Ambition who are based out in Austria and I’ve also been out racing in Andorra for the GB team,” she said.
“That went really well. I got a fourth, a sixth, a seventh and a ninth which puts me in really good shape going into Bormio.
“I am definitely feeling confident and really looking forward to it. I was second overall last year before going on to win overall at the British, so I’ll be hoping to go one better for sure.
“It was my first year in the under 14s last year so this time it’s definitely a case of trying to do better and I am going into it wanting to win. I’m very competitive!
“I’m older and a bit more experienced now so there’s no reason I can’t get the overall title. I’m particularly strong in the more technical events like the slalom.”
The English Alpine Championships help provide an early glimpse of the stars of tomorrow such as British Olympians Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding who have both competed at the competition.
With her rivals also set to hit their peak form at this time of year, Horton admits the competition is likely to be fierce.
She added: “The English Alpine Championships are very big in terms of the entire season. It is very much the race to do well in because it is the most competitive race.
“Everyone is at their best at the mid-point of the season and it matters in terms of getting selected for international races as well, so I am very excited.
“This will be the third time for me racing in Bormio. I love it there, I love the piste that we do the racing on as both the slalom and giant slalom are very challenging and bring out a number of different aspects of skiing.
“Looking ahead to the rest of the season, I’m at the top end of my age group so I’m just hoping to keep on improving and doing as well as I can because it’s important to take advantage of your top year.”
Follow the English Alpine Championships, organised by Snowsport England, via www.englishalpinechamps.org.uk or @SnowsportEng on Twitter. Want to get into skiing or snowboarding? Find your nearest slope offering value for money Go Ski Go Board sessions at www.goskigoboard.org.uk.