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Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

James Woods impresses in ski slopestyle at World Champs

Woods in action at the World Championships          Photo: Tyler Gigg
Woods in action at the World Championships. Photo courtesy of Tyler Gigg

By Anna Thompson

Britain's future medal potential in freestyle skiing was evident with a top-10 finish in slopestyle at the World Championships in America.

James Woods was eighth in the men's event held in Park City, Utah, which was won by American Alex Schlopy.

Slopestyle is expected to be confirmed in April as a new Olympic discipline at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

Teenager Woods told BBC Sport: "Taking eighth at my first World Championships is a great result."

However, he was disappointed he could not hold onto a medal position after qualifying in third place.

He added: "In a couple of weeks I think I'll begin to appreciate the result especially as it's my first real season of major competition."

Fellow Briton Katie Summerhayes, 15, finished 11th in the women's equivalent. Australia's Anna Segal triumphed in the event, which sees competitors judged on their creativity and skill as they negotiate a course which includes jumps and rails.

The skiers' promising performances came off the back of snowboarder Jenny Jones winning a silver medal at the X Games.

The freestyle ski team do not currently receive any funding from UK Sport but that could change should slopestyle be included in the Olympic programme.

Team manager Simon Ashton feels Woods has the potential to be a medal contender in 2014.

He said: "Woods is a real talent and hopefully will now make Euro X Games.

"He's competed in a few open championships over the last few years but this is his first proper full season on the professional circuit.

"We're really putting a great team of young skiers together in both slopestyle and half-pipe.

"Freestyle skiing is showing it's got real medal potential."

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see also
Jones clinches silver at X Games
30 Jan 11 |  Winter Sports
'Spend in UK,' unfunded stars beg
10 Dec 10 |  Winter Sports
A freestyle future?
03 Dec 10 |  Winter Sports
New events given hope for Sochi
25 Oct 10 |  Winter Sports
Slopestyle endorsed for Olympics
16 Jul 10 |  Winter Sports

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