France’s Marie Bochet maintained her sensational form on the third day of competition at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina Spain by claiming her third gold medal in as many events, this time in the slalom.
In testing conditions, which saw many high profile skiers in all classes not finish the course, 19 year old Bochet ensured she remains on course for a clean sweep of all individual medals in the women’s standing class by adding to the world titles she has already won this week in downhill and Super-G.
Bochet took gold in a time of 2:04.98 whilst Germany’s downhill silver and super-G bronze medallist Andrea Rothfuss picked up her second silver of the Championships behind Bochet in 2:11.80. Canada’s Alexandra Starker, a graduate of an IPC Development Camp in 2006, picked up a bronze (2:13.65), her first major international medal.
Sunday saw only a glimpse of the strong winds that led to Saturday’s postponement of the slalom competition and in the first event of the day Slovakia’s defending champion Henrieta Farkasova, together with guide Natalia Subrtova, got back to winning ways taking gold in the women’s visually impaired class. After winning downhill gold on Wednesday, the 26 year old failed to medal in Thursday’s super-G but was victorious in the slalom.
Farkasova’s time of 2:08.92, placed her ahead of Russia’s super-G world champion Alexandra Frantseva (guide Pavel Zabotin) in silver (2:10.49) and Canada’s Vancouver 2010 Paralympic silver medallist Viviane Forest (guide Chloe Lauzon-Gauthier) in bronze (2:13.60).
In the women’s sitting class Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber successfully defended her world title. The 20 year old, who earlier this week won super-G silver and downhill bronze, was well ahead of the field and finished her two runs in a time of 2:26.18. It was a German one two, after Anna-Lena Foster put in a sensational second run to move up from fourth to silver medal position with a time of 2:31.31. Bronze was won by Canada’s Kimberly Joines in 2:32.76.
There was a shock in the men’s visually impaired class when home favourite Jon Santacana (guide Miguel Galindo Garces), a winner to two golds already in La Molina and slalom leader at the halfway point crashed out during his second run.
As a result, Russia’s Ivan Frantsev (guide German Agranovskii) won his first gold of the Championships in 1:57.94, whilst his teammate Valery Redkozubov (guide Viacheslav Redkozubov) took bronze with a time of 2:00.11. Slovakia’s Miroslav Haraus (guide Maria Zatovicova), who was fifth after the first run, posted the fastest time in the second run to finish with an overall time of 1:59.21 which was good enough to take silver.
The men’s standing event was a real battle to the end, with many skiers struggling with the conditions.
Of the 28 competitors who started the first run, eight competitors failed to finish whilst three were disqualified. Going into the second and final run, just 0.10 seconds separated France’s defending world champion Vincent Gauthier Manuel in first and New Zealand’s Adam Hall in third place.
It was the 26 year old Frenchman who came out on top, taking gold in 1:55.85. Silver went to Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl in 1:57.30 whilst Vancouver 2010 Paralympic champion Hall took bronze (1:57.69), giving New Zealand their first medal of the Championships.
The Frenchman was delighted to take gold. Vincent Gauthier Manuel said: "I am very happy as I was waiting to win gold. The first two races were difficult for me.
"I was very stressed after the first run as it was so close. I knew if I skied well and I could win and my second run went really well.
"This is slope I won my first gold medal in 2008 in slalom, so it is a good slope for me. I now cross my fingers for more medals potentially in the super combined."
The final race of the day was the men’s sitting class which, like the men’s standing class, had its fair share of casualties in the first run. Of the 34 skiers who started the course, only 15 made it through to the second run with the likes of Canada’s Josh Dueck and German duo Thomas Nolte and Franz Hanfstingl all crashing out.
After the first run, Austria looked set for a clean sweep of the medals with 32 year old Philip Bonadimann leading the way from his teammate Roman Rabl and Dietmar Dorn.
Vancouver bronze medallist Bonadimann held on to win gold in 1:58.51 whilst his teammate Dorn did enough to win bronze (2:05.46).
Unfortunately Rabl was one of six skiers who failed to finish their second run and as a result Japan’s Taiki Morii, Thursday’s super-G gold medallist, too advantage to claim silver in 2:02.67.
After the third day of competition and 18 medal events, France lead the medals table with eight medals made up of four gold, two silver and two bronze.
The 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, Spain will run through to 27 February. Monday will see competitors contest the super combined.
Nearly 120 skiers from 28 are competing in the event which is the last major international Championships ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
For more information on the event including live results, please visit: www.ipcalpineskiingworlds.org,
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