SUITABLY inspired by the stars in Sochi, RGS High Wycombe pupil Josh Penning-Lambert has just been crowned English U16 Alpine Champion.

Penning-Lambert won the title in Bormio, Italy, after holding his nerve down two challenging runs.

He said: “The course was very difficult and only about 40 per cent of the riders made it down.

“It probably helped me because I’m smaller so turning courses favour me, but you’ve still got to ski it. You’ve got to be able to ski anything.”

Penning-Lambert was a second behind the Scottish leader after the first run, but was only 0.3 seconds clear of third place.

He said: “You see people going down but you’ve got nothing to lose so you might as well go for it.

“I had a really good second run and eventually got it by about a second.”

Penning-Lambert was actually second in Italy but the first English skier home.

The title adds to the English U14 GS Champion crown he won a few years ago and keeps him on track to follow in the footsteps of the GB Winter Olympic squad that has just returned from Russia with their best ever medal haul.

He said: “I’m just taking it season by season for now, but it would be nice to get to the Youth Olympics.

“That’s the first step, but in 2020 I’d be 19 so you never know.”

Penning-Lambert, who lives in Tylers Green, is already a member of the British Childrens Team and the English U16 development squad.

Before winning in Italy he had been in Slovenia representing the GB U16s in an international meet, and his next big event is the Scottish Championships in Courchevel and the British Championships in Meribel, France at the beginning of April.