As Cobham's Markus Kadrnka returns to the slopes of Bormio for the English Alpine Skiing Championships, he is hoping to provide a classic comeback story.

The 14-year-old Reed’s School student had looked set to the finish on the podium after his first run in the slalom last year but crashed out during his second, eventually missing out.

He returns to the Italian slopes this year one year older and, he hopes, an improved athlete with a chance of a medal after joining Ambition Racing six months ago.

“I want to show I’m better than last year,” Kadrnka said. “Last year I was in the under-14s top year, where I finished fourth in the giant slalom, then I was third in the slalom in the first run but I crashed in the second round.

“Now I’ve changed my technique a lot. It’s really helped working with the coaches there in their atmosphere and working on fitness. It’s helped my become a faster skier. 

“You do more timing against better people, so you’re always trying to beat them and they are trying to be you. It means you’re pushing yourself to the limit every training session you do.”

The English Alpine Championships, where Olympian Dave Ryding started his career before competing in the World Cup, is one of the biggest annual competitions in the skiing calendar.

Kadrnka, formerly a member of Sandown Park Ski Club, has success in his sights for racing in Bormio between February 17 and 22, as he enters the slalom, Super-G and giant slalom disciplines.

The promising teenager has also been selected by Great Britain in the FIS Youth International races at Pokal Loka, in Slovenia, on February 9 and 10.

But while some may struggle under the weight of an intense schedule, Kadrnka is confident he can thrive on it.

He added: “I like slalom and that’s probably what I’m best at. Slalom is about speed and if you switch off for one second your run can go. 

“You’re not focused on upcoming gates and terrain, then you can slide and you’re out.

“When you race against quicker people you are trying to beat them and they want to beat you. 

“So you end up getting faster because you want to be better than everyone else.”

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