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Sneesby on course for Sochi
A HIGH Wycombe teenager is one good race away from going to the Winter Paralympics in Sochi next March.
Over the past 18 months 19-year-old Ben Sneesby has skied in all corners of the world in an effort to earn his place in the GB team.
Now, just one winter out from the Games, he is on the cusp of realising his dream.
Sneesby said: “I will have to perform, and perform well, but I think it’s achievable. I’ve just got to keep going.
“This time last year getting to the Paralympics was a goal. But now it’s more than a dream. It is achievable.”
Each skier starts the season with 9,999 points and has to get down to 120 to qualify. Sneesby is on 150 points after his best race ever in New Zealand – when he finished fourth in a World Cup event against the best skiers from around the world.
He admits the last yards are the toughest, but one more performance like that will catapult him over the line.
He said: “I’m in a good position thanks to what I did in New Zealand and my points there.
“Now I just need to drop another 30 points in slalom and giant slalom. It would be possible in one race. I could drop 30 points in one race, I could have an absolute blinder and do it in one go.
“But I’ve got three or four races to make a good go of it and I just need to be consistent.
“If I do that then I’ll have done everything I can to get into the team. Then it’s up to the coaches but there is no reason why I wouldn’t get in.”
If it comes down to dedication and commitment, then Sneesby should have no worries.
He’s spent most of the year away from home and after a two-week training camp in Austria will head to the USA and Canada next month He said: “Most of the athletes are chasing points to qualify, including myself, and there are more races on that side of the world. That is the final opportunity to really qualify and see how it goes.
“Time-wise the games are in March and we get told whether we have made it or not in January so there is not long at all until then.
“All the athletes still have quite a bit of work to do but I am looking in quite a strong position.”
Lloyds Bank Local Heroes, in partnership with Sports Aid, has supported 1000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds Bank’s commitment to helping future sports starts prosper, the programme has continued in 2013. Follow future stars at www.lloydsbank.com/localheroes
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