NEWTON Mearns ski star Nicole Ritchie may not have been totally enamoured with her performance on the piste, but she still walked away from the 2017 Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships with a medal hanging from her neck.

Taking place from March 25 to April 7, the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships welcomed more than 300 of Britain’s most talented skiers to the slopes of the French Alps.

Winning her first medal of this year’s Championships in Tignes, Ritchie walked away with the bronze in the Women’s Slalom, having missed out on the top three in the Super G and Downhill races earlier in the week.

Crossing the line in 43.89 and 44.87 seconds in her first and second runs respectively, Ritchie’s combined time of 1:28.76 minutes was enough to secure her the final spot on the podium behind fellow Scottish skiers Charlie Guest and Ella Still.

It proved to be Ritchie’s only podium finish of the week, and despite being happy with her overall performances, the 21-year-old insists more improvements must be made.

“It was a good race. I would have like to have skied better, I definitely didn’t ski my best, but to get down and get third place in the British Championships is always nice,” she said.

“I’m not sure what went wrong out there. My first run was a little bit slow up at the top of the piste, but then I skied the bottom half well, but then the second run was the complete opposite.

“Technically, it wasn’t my best skiing but I just wanted to finish. I haven’t finished many Slaloms this year so I just wanted to get down and see how I placed against the other British athletes.

“Maybe I held back a little bit just to make sure I got down, but I know now that I can take more risks in the next Slalom that I do.

“I’m always happy just to finish because it hasn’t been great for me this year.

“I’m happy with the skiing in parts, there were good turns and bad turns but that’s always going to be the case in a Slalom race.

“I’m definitely really happy to be on the podium.”

The 2016/17 season has marked the best ever campaign for British skiers and snowboarders, with 15 World Cup and three World Championship podiums among athletes’ achievements.

And while Ritchie admits the season could have gone far better for her on a personal level, she’s confident she can continue to go from strength-to-strength on the slopes.

“Being on the British team is good so far. The results haven’t been coming this year, I’ve been putting one run down and not going well in the next,” she said.

“I just need to remember to have fun, put some runs together and hopefully the injuries will stay away as well.”

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