Local skiers set for World Championships

By Brayden May

LOCAL skiers Brett Sands and Fletcher Ball are just several months away from testing themselves on the world stage.

The pair have been selected in the Australian team for the World Barefoot Waterski Championships in April.

Sands will pull on the green and gold for the 10th time in the open elite men's class while Ball has earned his first junior selection.

“It's always an honour to represent your country, no matter how many times you've been selected,” Sands said.

“When I initially retired I had been picked eight times so to earn another two selections once I've got back into the sport is extremely pleasing.”

Sands earned his selection after finishing fifth in the pro men's division at the National Barefoot Championships last weekend.

Throughout the competition, Sands finished third in the slalom, fifth in the tricks and sixth in the jump events.

“I'm happy with the result but I've always produced better in a team environment,” he said.

“I'm looking forward to getting to the World Championships and helping Australia defend the gold medal we won in Canada in 2018.”

Meanwhile, Ball followed on from his success at last year's event, finishing second in the junior boys category.

In individual events, Ball won the slalom event while finishing third in the tricks and fifth in the jump categories.

And Sands, who has spent endless hours out on the water with the youngster, said he couldn't be prouder.

“Fletcher has worked extremely hard to get to where he is,” he said.

“Unlike a lot of other young skiers he trained right through the winter which helped put him to where he is today.

“There were times where he might have been wondering if it was all worth it but this is proof that it was.

“I can't wait to see him against the best competitors in the world.”

The World Championships will be held in Liverpool, NSW from April 11 to 18.

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