Skiing: Bosher in talent show

FOUL WEATHER continued to hamper the second day of training at the 1999 British Land National Championships, which start today in the French resort of Tignes. However, despite the appalling conditions which forced the cancellation of the second run, the skiers remained focused, with the surprise of the day coming from the 15-year-old Danielle Bosher.

Bosher, the youngest competitor at this year's Championships and in her first year in the women's British Land Junior Alpine Ski Team, finished a remarkable fourth overall. Her aggressive skiing on the first part of the course put her in third place at the mid-way point, but Bosher could not match the strength of Amanda Pirie, the 18-year-old who beat her by 0.54sec with a time of 1min 28.13sec to take third place.

Pirie's sister, Tessa, the winner of the overall title in 1996 and winner of the downhill last year, showed her dominance of the field, setting the fastest time of 1min 27.22sec for the women, 0.78sec ahead of Anna Pipet of France.

Sean Langmuir, coach of the women's junior team, said: "It was an exceptional display by the juniors today. All of our preparation is beginning to produce the rewards and, with the forecast looking good for the remainder of the week, we look forward to an exciting four days of racing, beginning tomorrow."

In the men's downhill - delayed by deteriorating weather conditions - Andrew Freshwater, the defending champion from Kincraig, slipped into second place to finish 0.06sec behind Justin Johnson of the United States, who set the fastest time of 1min 21.44sec. France and the United States dominated the leading places, with the 20-year-old Johnny Moulder-Brown from London being the second-fastest member of the British team and joint 19th overall with a time of 1min 23.61sec.