October 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 4, 2014
Norfolk has a new British champion to celebrate, after Kyle Wise claimed the Trespass British Snowboardcross Championship crown in France.
The 24-year-old claimed his title in the Tignes skiing region of the Alps on Tuesday to begin easing the pain of missing out on the chance to qualify for the Sochi Winter Olympics because of a perforated appendix.
Wise, from Burgh St Peter near Beccles, competed in the competition as part of the Brits winter festival which is being held this week.
He came first in all the snowboardcross heats – a sport which is essentially downhill snowboard racing – and qualified for the final in first place as well.
Wise, who practices on the dryslopes of Norfolk Snowsports Club in Trowse when he is in Norfolk, then held off the challenge of Thomas Farrow and Max Thidling for the win.
“It’s been a tough year so I wasn’t going in very confident, I was almost worried that it wouldn’t go very well,” Wise explained.
“I’d only been back training for about a month from when my appendix had burst so I hadn’t been training as well as I could be but I just made it happen, stayed focused and it went well.
“I was doing everything I could to do my best but I wasn’t very relaxed at the top of the slope. I was doing exercises to keep my muscles warm, doing everything I could to prepare like making sure I was eating, waxing my board and staying cool, because it was very warm.”
Those anxieties proved ill-founded for the former Langley School pupil however, as he wrapped up his latest title, following on from becoming the inaugural men’s champion at the British Indoor Snowboardcross Championships in Manchester last October.
“This is probably the biggest title I’ve won,” Wise added. “But I was so focused that when I went over the line I wasn’t really over the moon or anything, I was more kind of relieved because I really hard to work hard for it.
“It’s nice to have the title though, it’s definitely one of my biggest achievements.”
Wise now has just the Austrian and French national championships left this season, before he turns his attention to finding work for the summer and planning his training.
He graduated in Planning and Property Development from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh last summer and now splits his time between the Scottish capital and Norfolk, doing some planning consultancy work for a friend in Gorleston.
The next big focus for him will be the 2015 FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard World Championships in Austria next January.
Wise added: “This is pretty much the end of my season now but it’s a great way to finish off the season, considering how tough it’s been.
“I know now that I want to try and do better and really go for it, train as much as I can so that I can hit the ground running next season.”
Do you know a local sportsman who has won a national title recently? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer