CLEADON ski cross racer Emma Peters has taken a big step forward in her burgeoning career after success in the World Junior Championships in Italy.
The 16-year-old travelled to Chiesa in Valmalenco where she was the youngest competitor involved and finished just 0.4 seconds outside the final qualification group of 16.
The result though still placed Emma 18th in the world in an age range of 16-21 in the sport.
And she said: “I was happy because I’d had very limited training and just a few races under my belt this season, mainly due to races being cancelled by poor weather conditions.
“And in terms of the race itself, I had to be satisfied as I was only five seconds off the lead time which was mainly down to one horrendous major mistake on my qualifying run.
“I overshot the landing of a jump and landed on the uphill section of the next feature which lost me huge amounts of time.
“But it was still a great experience.
“I learned a lot from my GBR team mates Scott Garvie, Sam Allen and Laurence Willows, who had competed here last year at this event and most of all from Ian Findlay the head coach.
“But I had priceless help from Chris David and Ian Danby, Christine Findlay (strength & conditioning) Richard Breese and Stephen Edwards (alpine clubs AKTIV & EDEP) and not forgetting my mum and dad who supported me hugely financially.”
Emma had gone to Italy directly from the British freestyle ski cross championships held in Tignes in France where she won silver despite being the youngest competitor in that event too, and up against much older and more experienced racers.
The two competitions represent tremendous achievement for the teenager, who only moved into the fast-growing sport from Alpine skiing little more than a year ago.
But the year 11 pupil, who attends Whitburn Academy and is now balancing her sport along with studying for her GCSE qualifications is hoping that this is only the start of her success in a sport which sees skiers racing each other down the course, rather than competing against the clock.