Teenage freestyle skiing sensation Callum Welch pulled out an ‘extraordinary’ final trick to claim a dramatic victory at the British Championships in Manchester’s Chill Factore earlier this month.
With more than 100 skiers and snowboarders in action on the slope, the competition was fierce but Callum held his nerve to clinch a sensational last-gasp win.
Looking back at his triumph, Callum told the Gazette: “In practice I focused on my simple tricks, which I knew I would be able to build on at competition time.
“The format for the competition was a zonal one; four zones and each time the field would be cut in half. All of the zones went well and I executed all my tricks I wanted to, but when it came to the final zone, with just five men left, I felt I needed to pull out something extraordinary to have a chance of winning.”
While going up the lift, Callum noticed that there was a possibility of a transfer from one of the ramps to another feature - around 10m away. The Hemel Hempstead ace managed to land the transfer but, as he was going up the lift again, one of his rials did the same transfer, but with a higher difficulty.
“This meant that I would need to better that trick, otherwise I may risk not getting the result I knew I could get,” said Callum. “I did the same transfer again and felt, as I hit the rail, that I could do a 450 out and this would put me in with a good chance of not only getting on the podium, but potentially winning.”
Callum successfully landed the trick, however it was not ridden away as cleanly as he would have liked, giving the Hemel youngster an anxious wait to find out his overall finishing position.
“When it came to prize giving, I was unsure if the unclean landing would hinder me,” Callum continued. “But my name was called out in first place and the room erupted!
“I was so stoked on the reception of the news of me becoming Overall British Champion, almost as much as winning!”