Japan’s Suzuki returns to form at alpine skiing World Cup in St. Moritz

Japan’s Paralympic and world champion Takeshi Suzuki showed off his technical prowess to claim his first win of the season in slalom at the Para alpine skiing World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Wednesday (21 December).

Suzuki, who will try and defend his men’s sitting world title in Tarvisio, Italy, in just over one month’s time, posted two top three runs to make sure of his victory. The USA’s Tyler Walker came back from a fifth-placed first run to seal second place. Germany’s Georg Kreiter was third.

The women’s sitting saw a battle of the Germans, with 2015 Worlds bronze medallist Anna-Lena Forster claiming victory over her Paralympic champion teammate Anna Schaffelhuber. Forster did enough with a quickest first run to secure the win, despite Schaffelhuber coming back in the second. The USA’s Laurie Stephens was third in her maiden podium finish of 2016-17.

The Netherlands’ Anna Jochemsen sped her way to her first World Cup win of the season in the women’s standing, beating German Paralympic champion Andrea Rothfuss into second. Canada’s Erin Latimer was third, picking up her fourth technical podium across two World Cups in St. Moritz and Kuhtai, Austria, last week.

French newcomer Arthur Bauchet continued his excellent run of form in the men’s standing. Having picked up two wins in giant slalom on his World Cup debut on Monday (19 December) and Tuesday (20 December), the 16-year-old once again triumphed. Bauchet was joined on the podium by Switzerland’s Thomas Grochar, claiming second place just 0.81 seconds behind. Australia’s Mitchell Gourley skied consistently to secure third.

Slovakia’s Miroslav Haraus doubled-up on slalom victories with guide Maros Hudik in the men’s visually impaired, adding to his first place from Kuhtai. Just 0.15 seconds behind was Italy’s Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Fabrizio Casal in second. Spain’s multiple Paralympic and Worlds medallist Jon Santacana Maiztegui and guide Miguel Galindo completed the podium.

In the women’s visually impaired, 2015 World Championships silver medallist Melissa Perrine took her first win of the season with guide Andrew Bor. Following up on her third place finish from Kuhtai, Perrine edged Great Britain’s Millie Knight, guided by Brett Wild, by 0.46 seconds. Slovakia’s Paralympic bronze medallist Henrieta Farkasova completed the top three with guide Natalia Subrtova.

Full results are available at World Para Alpine Skiing’s website: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/live-results/info-live-results. Racing concludes in St. Moritz on Thursday (22 December) before the first World Cup downhill, super combined and super-G races take place in Innerkrems, Austria, from 11-15 January.

The World Para Alpine Skiing World Championships get underway in Tarvisio, Italy, on 22 January. Live results are available throughout at World Para Alpine Skiing’s website: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/live-results/info-live-results.