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McQuitty races into second spot
11:00am Friday 8th February 2013 in Sportsview
KIDDERMINSTER-born RAF technician Mark McQuitty is used to helping jets reach supersonic speeds but he’s been hitting 90 miles per hour on the equivalent of a tea tray.
The Senior Aircraftman Technician, 26, tested his mettle at the RAF Olympic Luge Championships and emerged with flying colours as he sealed second place.
After a year away being deployed to the Falklands and a serious shoulder injury the Kidderminster-born former Air Cadet was back to compete for a second season in at the championships in Igls, Austria.
After a morning session coaching novices and practising technique, it was his turn to impress.
With each run McQuitty progressed further up the awe-inspiring track and by day two he was sliding with the senior team from the Ladies Olympic level start.
Showing rapid progress, beating his personal best each day, he was soon selected to slide from the men’s start and tackle the 1,217-metre long course.
An unlucky draw in the running order meant he would be clearing the ice for sliders behind him.
However, he managed second place on his first run and maintained this position to the end with only the RAF’s number one ranked slider coming in ahead of him.
McQuitty said: “Pushing myself off from the start was a great feeling, I set off with the intention just to get down in one piece and enjoy it, but as I started pushing off I thought ‘What the heck, let’s go for it!’.
“All the corners fell into place, and I got a great time matching the time set by the RAF number one slider.
“Every time you slide the adrenaline rush is huge because there is just no stopping once you start. You either make it to the end or crash.”
He now hopes to represent the RAF at the Interservice Championships in March.