Austrian teammates Claudia Loesch and Roman Rabl tasted sweet success on home snow on Friday (16 December), as they recorded giant slalom wins at the Para alpine skiing World Cup in Kuhtai. Loesch captured the women’s sitting win after not finishing her slalom runs on Thursday (15 December).
After missing most of last season due to injury, the Austrian is aiming to improve on her 2015 World Championships silver medal, and so far she appears on the right track ahead of the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, from 22-31 January. Germany’s Ruth Hagspiel and the Netherlands’ Linda van Impelen finished second and third, respectively.
Austria took more delight in the men’s sitting, where Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games bronze medallist Rabl edged Norway’s Jesper Pedersen for the win. Switzerland’s Christoph Kunz claimed third place. Only 0.01 seconds separated the first and second-place finishers in the men’s visually impaired. Canada’s reigning Paralympic champion Mac Marcoux and his new guide Jack Leitch had the extra speed to record their first victory of the season. Slovakian skiers completed the podium, with Marek Kubacka and guide Maria Zatovicova taking second; Miroslav Haraus and guide Maros Hudik – who won the slalom on Thursday (15 December) – took third.
Slovakia continued to find success in Henrieta Farkasova and her guide Natalia Subrtova. The duo captured their second win of the World Cup, winning the women’s visually impaired. Australia’s World bronze medallists Melissa Perrine and guide Andrew Bor took runner-up, just 0.88 seconds behind the Slovakians.
Great Britain’s Millie Knight, guided by Brett Wild, had the second fastest run to reach the last podium step.
Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss is working this World Championship season to better all four silvers she took from the 2015 Worlds, and Friday appeared a strong sign toward those goals. Rothfuss produced the two fastest runs to win the women’s standing, beating Canadian teammates Alana Ramsay and Erin Latimer.
Slovakia’s Martin France came back faster in his run to take the men’s standing to mark his first victory of the season. The USA’s Thomas Walsh saw his second podium finish in KuhtaI in second, and Australia’s Mitchell Gourley completed the results. Competition continues on Saturday (17 December) with giant slalom, before the World Cup moves to St. Moritz, Switzerland, from 19-22 December. More than 100 athletes from nearly 25 countries are racing in both editions.
Full results are available at www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/calendar-and-results.
Live results are available for all World Cups at www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/live-results.
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