Britain’s Bankes becomes snowboarding world champ

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Charlotte Bankes became Britain’s first snowboarding world champion with a dramatic run to snowboard cross gold in Idre Fjall, Sweden this week.

The 25-year-old, born in Hemel Hempstead, upgraded her silver medal from 2019 in a statement victory with less than a year to go until the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Pending qualification and selection, Bankes is poised to make a big impact on Team GB debut in Beijing having changed licences from France to Great Britain in 2018.

Bankes said: “It’s pretty amazing, I think I’ve had a great few days here. It’s been a really fun course, it’s just amazing to be able to pull all the runs together.

The six-time World Cup medallist qualified quickest on Tuesday and looked by far the fastest in the field to finish first in her quarter and semi-finals.

In the final the Brit drafted reigning world champion Eva Samkova before taking the lead – staying on her feet after a fraught penultimate jump to claim a white-knuckle win.

“I think the final was tight racing: unfortunately I made a mistake at the end,” said Bankes, who inadvertently caused Australian Belle Brockhoff to ski out of the race.

“It’s a shame for Belle (Brockhoff), I’m really sorry for her, it was a really tight race and unfortunately, she crashed out because of me, but I’m happy I managed to stay on my feet and keep it through the line”

Bankes’s silver medal at the 2019 event in Utah was Britain’s first World Championship medal in snowboarding.

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