SHE only got on ice for the first time two months ago, but now Bournemouth’s Anya Kay is a British bobsleigh medallist.
The 22-year-old and Anna Alexander-Holmes charged to bronze in the two-woman bob at the British Championships in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
The medal success came just nine months after the Arts University Bournemouth student attended testing for the sport in Bath, having previously been a dedicated hurdler.
Kay was handed a Talented Athlete Sports Scholarship (TASS) in September and four months later she journeyed to Igls to experience bobsleigh in its pure form.
With that training under her belt, last weekend the brakewoman and Wiltshire’s Alexander-Holmes raced against seven crews in their two runs to earn a place on the rostrum.
Kay told the Daily Echo: “We were very much the newbies in the competition as we had never been on ice before January.
“In the week leading up we had to have two successful runs where you show you can jump into the sled in order to qualify.
“I jokingly said to Anna at the beginning of the proper competition, ‘I hope you realise we’re going to come in the top three’ and she didn’t believe me.
“The people that are drawn first have the best conditions and we were drawn seventh out of eight for our first run, but seven is my lucky number and I was adamant that we were going to be fine.
“The result was great and if I’ve got this much better since last year, it’s exciting to see what’s going to happen in the future.”
In the second year of a fine art degree, Kay is one of 20 athletes that will receive a share of £30,000 of funding from charity Sports-Aid over the next three years.
That money has been targeted towards athletes who have a chance of competing at future Winter Olympics, with the 2018 Games in South Korea being Kay’s long-term goal.
The bobsleigh season is now over, but Kay plans to compete at the Bournemouth Athletic Club Spring Open on March 29, before undergoing further bobsleigh testing in May.