DURHAM skier Emily Sarsfield claimed successive top-20 finishes in last weekend’s two rounds of the Ski Cross World Cup in the Italian resort of Watles.

Sarsfield was controversially omitted from the British team for the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, having lost an appeal against her initial non-selection.

However, she has continued competing in the hope of making her Winter Olympic debut in Pyeongchang next year, with her form since the turn of the year suggesting she is more than capable of claiming an automatic place in the Olympic line-up.

The 33-year-old was the best-performing Briton as she finished in 20th position in the first round of competition, and went one better as she came 19th in the second run.

Those performances earned her 23 World Cup ranking points, with her season total of 92 points seeing her comfortably inside the world top 20. If she was to maintain that position through to the Winter Olympic cut-off point, she would secure an automatic place in Pyeongchang.

Liz Stevenson is the next highest-ranked Briton, down in 30th position, with Sarsfield due to return to action when the World Cup series moves on to Feldberg, in Germany, on February 5.