MELKSHAM’S Alex Edwards won silver at the ICF Freestyle Canoeing World Championships in Nottingham last week.

Edwards ended the bi-annual competition just 40 points away from gold on 1444, but his consolation was a third consecutive silver medal to go with his pair of European championship titles and two World cup gongs.

Freestyle kayaking is akin to Gymnastics in a kayak with athletes having one minute to demonstrate a series of complex moves, with each scoring points. The more difficult the trick the higher the points.

20 nations were in attendance on the white-water course from as far away as Argentina, Japan and New Zealand – each having two one-minute attempts at scoring as high as possible to see which 10 athletes would make it through.

The Wiltshire paddler – who trains on the River Avon – nailed both heat runs and progressed to the semi-finals in first place.

Tuesday’s semi-final presented each athlete with two runs – the best of which would count as their qualification entry – and once again Edwards did more than enough to reach the five-person final.

The final – which is a best-of-three-round affair – saw Edwards up against two of his fellow countrymen as well as a pair of Americans which included two-time defending champion Clay Wright.

With all five paddlers in contention after a first round which separated the quintet by just 200 points, the Melksham man was first with over 1200 points.

Following a second round which left Edwards in a British one-two-three, the final act saw the highest degree of drama and ultimately heartbreak.

Edwards’ compatriot Sam leapt into first place before Wright stole the lead with a score of 1480 and two paddlers remaining.

The other American moved into second place, leaving Edwards in a position where he knew a tournament-best would have to do if victory was to be taken.

His first move didn’t go as planned, but the Melksham man remained composed throughout, and with a flurry of quick moves he gave the judges plenty to think about.

However, it was not to be and Edwards missed out by just 40 points as American Wright held onto his title.