Sheffield skier James Woods lands long-awaited world title

James Woods of Great Britain competes in the FIS Freeski World Championships on February 02, 2019, at Canyons Village in Park City, Utah. (Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
James Woods of Great Britain competes in the FIS Freeski World Championships on February 02, 2019, at Canyons Village in Park City, Utah. (Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Great Britain’s James Woods has been crowned world champion for the first time after victory in the men’s ski slopestyle competition in Utah.

The 27-year-old, who learend to ski on the dry ski slopes of his hometown of Sheffield, defied difficult weather conditions to edge out Norwegian teenager Birk Ruud and US double Olympic medallist Nick Goepper.

Woods told the competition’s website: “It feels good. Obviously I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve put a lot of effort in over the years as everybody has.”

Woods had previously won a world silver medal in Voss in 2013 and bronze at Sierra Nevada in 2017.

And victory was especially sweet for the Sheffield star who missed out on a Winter Olympic medal in Pyeongchang last year by just 1.2 points.

Woods had looked set to snatch a podium place in South Korea until Goepper edged him into bronze with the final run of the competition.

Woods’ medal is Britain’s third of the championships after Charlotte Bankes and Izzy Atkin took silver and bronze in snowboard-cross and Ski Big Air respectively.