The women’s visually impaired slalom race could not have been any closer at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup on Saturday (18 January), as Russia’s Paralympic medal hopeful Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotin finished just one-hundredth of a second ahead of Great Britain’s Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell in Copper Mountain, Colorado in the USA. …Â
Frantseva clocked in at 1:30.21 to take first and Etherington at 1:30.22 to finish in second, with Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans taking third place in 1:32.60.
Despite failing to medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Frantseva appears to be on track to be one of the host nation’s hero’s at Sochi 2014. In addition to winning three world titles in 2013, Frantseva won the women’s visually impaired overall title in the 2012-13 World Cup and currently sits in first place this season once again.
Meanwhile, after having already won the women’s giant slalom standing event in Copper Mountain, France’s six-time world champion Marie Bochet cruised to victory in the slalom race with a time of 1:22.55. American Allison Jones and German Andrea Rothfuss, who finished second and third, were well behind Bochet’s frantic pace, clocking in at 1:26.29 and 1:26.95, respectively.
Germany’s Paralympic bronze medallist Anna Schaffelhuber, who also won the giant slalom in the sitting class, was just as dominant in the slalom, finishing in 1:25.01 to ease her way to first.
Canada’s Kimberly Joines took second in 1:28.24 and Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster came third in 1:33.80.
Russia’s 16-year-old Alexey Bugaev won the men’s standing slalom in 1:17.07, fending off New Zealand’s Adam Hall – the defending Paralympic champion in the event – whoÂ Â finished in second with 1:17.34. Bugaev’s teammate, Alexander Alyabyev, took third in 1:19.13.
France’s Jean Yves Le Meur took an unexpected first-place finish in the men’s sitting discipline of the slalom, clocking in at 1:23.28 to beat Japanese powerhouses Takeshi Suzuki and Taiki Morii. Suzuki was second in 1:24.27, Austria’s Philipp Bonadimann was third in 1:25.10 and Morii was fourth in 1:25.19.
The IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Copper Mountain runs through Monday (20 January), with nearly 75 athletes from 15 countries taking part.