Aimee Fuller speeding towards Winter Olympics spot
Bangor-based snowboarder Aimee Fuller has finished her World Cup Olympic Qualification season on a high after placing fourth in the Slopestyle Final at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic.
Despite just missing out on a podium place by 0.16 points, a fourth place finish leaves Fuller in an excellent position to secure qualification for next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Saturday's result was the icing on the cake for Aimee who, having come back from an ankle injury over Christmas, has finished the season ranked fifth in the world for Slopestyle.
"I've had four top five finishes throughout the whole season and I've had two fourth places," said Fuller.
"Then on Friday I finished fourth in the World Cup final event, which solidified my position in the Slopestyle ranking, I'm ranked fifth in World so I'm absolutely chuffed.
"I'm in a very solid position and there are a couple of events next season which will further my position, in the Olympic quota list I'm currently ninth, and the top 30 go to the Olympics.
"As of now I've got a really great position and I've got good points moving forward into the Southern Hemisphere season where I'll be competing in both Slopestyle and Big Air."
Qualification for what will be Aimee's second Olympics was by no means a certainty after the 25-year-old suffered a sprained ankle ligament which saw her out of action over Christmas.
But although her performance on Friday wasn't enough to secure a podium place, the disappointment of coming fourth is testament to the impressive season Aimee has had, and how well she's bounced back from injury.
"If you'd told me at the start of the season that I was going to get fourth place I would have been absolutely chuffed, and I still am, but missing out by 0.16 has just made me hungrier and even more motivated for next season," she added.
"It's a good place to finish the season in because of that drive and motivation to keep working hard for when it really counts - which is the Olympics just 10 months from now."
Fuller will be hoping to compete in both the Slopestyle and Big Air events in South Korea next year, when Big Air will make its debut as an Olympic event.
"I'm filming a TV show with Sky and I've also got a training camp in Switzerland with the rest of the GB team as well as the British Championships. After that I plan to come back to Belfast, and enjoy what Northern Ireland has to offer; it'll be a good place to base myself over the summer for training and strength conditioning," she said.