Tawny Wagstaff (Methven) has claimed the first speed skiing world cup podium of his career with a third place finish in Vars, France overnight.
This result also marks the first speed skiing world cup podium for a New Zealand athlete since FIS record keeping started in 2002.
Wagstaff reached a mind-boggling speed of 212.61Kph to secure the bronze medal. He was just 1.9Kph behind six-time speed skiing world champion Simone Origone of Italy who took the win today. Simon Billy of France rounded out the podium in second place.
Wagstaff said, “I am very happy, I have put a lot of work in over the last year so it is nice to see the rewards of my efforts. The course was in excellent condition with light winds. The top guys are something else, legends at what they do, generally only 1-2Kph separates the podium so can be very close.”
Remaining calm before each race, knowing he is going to travel at incredibly high speeds, is an art. Wagstaff explained; “I rely on many coaching techniques, deep breaths, being in the moment and trusting what I’m good at – it’s a challenge but what I live for. Taking in the intensity, it’s not often in life we can have this feeling so I make the most of it.”
Wagstaff is also the current New Zealand speed skiing record holder. He clocked an incredible speed of 248.61Kph in March last year at the same venue as today’s podium success.
The action continues for Wagstaff tonight, where he will be competing at the second Vars Speed Skiing World Cup.
watch the run here