Sensational GB silver and bronze at World Para Snowboard Championships
Silver and bronze medals for GBR duo Owen Pick and Ben Moore on final day of competition at IPC Snowboard World Championships in Big White, Canada.
In a day of stellar performances from the British Para Snowsport (BPS) snowboard team riders, the stand out performance was that of Owen Pick, who has turned around a season of near misses to finally step onto the podium for the first time in his career in the race that mattered most, the World Championships.
In a competition where riders get three goes to post the fastest single run on a burmed slalom track, the in-form Pick rode into joint third place in the first run before shocking the entire field by posting the fastest time of the day at that point in the second run.
Sitting in gold medal position going into the third and final run he watched world cup leader Finn, Suur-Hamari smash his best time by 0.70sec then watch Narita of Japan beat his time as well. Knowing there were faster riders still to come Pick held his nerve to knock 0.4sec of his previous best to secure his first podium and Britain’s first ever world level medal in this class.
For Ben Moore (pictured) securing a bronze in his less favoured discipline was another equally special achievement for the man who won silver and bronze at the previous World Championships two years ago.
Just a fortnight ago, at the last world cup event prior to the World Championships he had collided with his teammate James Barnes-Miller in the semi final of the Snowboard Cross and suffered a massive crash which left his participation in the World Championships in doubt.
Ben rode brilliantly in his first run to post a time that stood as the third best mark for the remainder of the day.
Cassie Cava delivered another encouraging performance improving on her 7th in the SBX to finish 6th in this race. The result will give her encouragement with the Paralympics around the corner.
James Barnes-Miller, who was narrowly pipped into 4th in the Snowboard Cross didn’t fair as well in this competition, only managing to make the finish in his final run and eventually finishing 8th. However it is JBM’s first major competitive season and his results demonstrate that he is on the way up.
"I've been knocking on the door for the last three years behind these guys so I’m really happy with my first podium at the World Champs... And I only missed out on first place by half a second." Owen Pick
Owen Pick said: “I've been knocking on the door for the last three years behind these guys so I’m really happy with my first podium at the World Champs here at Big White today. And I only missed out on first place by half a second”.
Ben Moore returning from injury commented: “I am so relieved, happy and excited all at the same time. I love Canada and this resort in particular, but wow, I even surprised myself with that run and god it feels good. Thanks to the organisers out here for putting on such a good event, the course was in excellent condition, and thanks to my sponsors Get Kids Going and the National Lottery who have supported me through coming back from injury, and thanks especially to the Scottish Institute of Sport who have guided my recovery. Bring on Pyeongchang.”
Duncan Freshwater Performance Director of British Parasnowsport added: “This has been an excellent performance from our riders across the board. There have been some set backs along the way, but I feel confident that all our riders rode to their absolute potential out here which is all you can ask for. These results are very welcome and will hopefully set us up well to redouble our efforts through this summer to mount an even stronger challenge at the Paralympics next year”.