Charles Czechs out with giant slalom bronze medal

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Local skier Charles Rankin was celebrating after achieving a podium position at an international event in the Czech Republic last weekend.

The 13 year-old, who comes from Chirnside, represented Great Britain in the event when he finished ninth overall in the slalom, but won a bronze medal for finishing third in the U14 giant slalom.

He was competing against boys from all over the world including Europe, Russia and Australia.

His mother Alison said: “For a GB athlete to make the podium in an International race at this level is very rare, and it was made better that Charles’s best friend and training partner beat him by a fraction of a second and joined him on the podium in second place, which was a great coup for GBR.”

Rankin was only 7/10th of a second behind the winner, a boy from Slovenia, who took the gold medal.

His next British races are the English Championships in Bormio, Italy during February half term and then he has been selected for the second time this season by GBR for International representation at Abetone, Italy in March, based on his podium positions from the Anglo Scottish Championships over New Year in France.

At those races he gained a second and third place in the two GS races and a fifth in the super G race which was his best super G result to date.

Rankin has been skiing since the age of three and at the age of six he was enrolledwith Lothian Ski Racing Association at Hillend in Edinburgh.

His father, local dentist Robert Rankin, realised that in order to further his race training it was important to train in the Alps. He started training near Chamonix, France with the British Ski Academy and with the support, at that time, of Longridge Towers School, was able to successfully mix his education with race training with an elite group.

After gaining podium positions in the Welsh, English, Scottish and British

National Championships as well as the schools races, all held in the Alps , Rankin was selected to train with the Scottish Alpine Regional Academy (former Scottish Ski Team) and now trains weekly on the indoor snow at Braehead, Glasgow under the expert guidance of former Olympic Alpine racer, Finlay Mickel.

“I went into the races in the Czech Republic hoping to do the best I could,” said Rankin.

“A top 20 place would have been great when you’re skiing against the best in Europe but to make it into the top 10 in slalom and on the podium in GS was just an amazing experience and one that I’ll never forget.

“I’m really looking forward to representing GBR again in March at Abetone and feel honoured to have been selected for a second time this season.”