Knee-sy does it for Poth as skier looks to end the season on a high

Robert Poth in action. Picture (c) Matt Williams
Robert Poth in action. Picture (c) Matt Williams

After a season that began with slicing his knee open, Hemel Hempstead skier Robert Poth is determined to bring the curtain down on a positive note by claiming victory at the 2015 Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships.

Great Britain skier Poth endured a frustrating start to the campaign after a crash during a giant slalom training run in October resulted in him requiring 13 stitches to the front of his knee.

Fortunately it did not keep the 17-year-old out for too long and he was back representing Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival at the end of January, where he finished 47th in the giant slalom.

Further good news would follow at last month’s English Alpine Ski Championships in Bormio, Italy, where Poth put in a personal best performance to take fourth place overall in the slalom, including clocking the fastest British time on the first run.

And with confidence flooding back, the talented teen says he would love nothing more than to sign off in style at the British Championships, which get underway on March 22.

“At the start of the season in October, I had a couple of doubts in my mind about when I would come back with my injury,” said Poth, who trains at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

I’d love to get on the podium so we’ll see how it goes.

Robert Poth

“I took a crash in the giant slalom and managed to slice my knee open with my ski. I had 13 stitches but fortunately I missed the tendons and ligaments.

“It’s mostly fine now although I do get the odd niggle in my knee.

“Fortunately I had a lot of support and I’ve since managed to put in personal best in the slalom and I’m currently ranked in the top-10 in Great Britain.

“The season has been going really well. The British Championships will be the end of the season for me so it would be great to finish strongly. I’d love to get on the podium so we’ll see how it goes.”

Poth is no stranger to the British Championships, having worked his way steadily through the age groups over the years, including finishing third in the U18 slalom last year.

This time round will be his last at that level before he moves up to the U21 category, and Poth admits the slalom and giant slalom will be his main target when it comes to trying to taste success.

“I’ve been racing at the British Championships since I was in minis,” he added. “I was U16 overall British Champion in 2012 and managed to win every trophy going at U14 and U16 level.

“This is my final year in the U18 category so it would be good to go out on a high.

“The main focus will be the slalom and giant slalom; super-G requires a lot more time in training and I have not been focusing on that as much.”

> As principal sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, Delancey is proud to be able to provide British Athletes with the support and training they require to continue to be a real force in winter sports on a world stage. Follow @teambss or visit www.teambss.org.uk and www.delancey.com