'I'm an emotional wreck!': London water skier clinches sport's biggest prize in nail-biting win

Video from British Water Ski & Wakeboard

A Londoner has officially become the world's best water skier after clinching the most sought-after title in the sport.

Joel Poland from Clapham won the Overall World Champion at the IWWF World Waterski Championships in Florida.

Joel also broke the overall world record with big scores in all three events of slalom, tricks and jump.

"I’m an emotional wreck right now," Joel said.

"All of you have backed me from the beginning.

"You’ve been there every step and that support has built and built and built and I can’t thank you enough," Joel added.

Aged just 22 Joel is one of the greatest athletes in British water skiing history, with many competitive years still ahead.

He was introduced to the sport at Spelthorne Water Ski Club near Chertsey in Surrey by his dad, Rob.

GB's Joel Poland Credit: British Water Ski & Wakeboard

Martin Winter, Chairman of the sport’s governing body, British Water Ski & Wakeboard, said: "What a performance from Joel in Overall and Jump.

"44 long years since Mike Hazelwood cemented the UK’s position as a premier water ski nation as overall champion, Joel has repeated the feat.

"It’s so appropriate that in bronze medallist Will Asher and 4th overall skier Rob Hazelwood, Mike’s nephews played a key part in this year’s British charge.

"To top it all, pressing the USA so close in their own backyard and beating them to take Team silver made this a tournament to remember for one of the UK’s top World Championship winning sports, across the three water ski disciplines."

Joel follows in the footsteps of Mike Hazelwood, the last Briton to be Overall World Waterski Champion in 1977.