Russia’s Sochi 2014 silver medallist Alexey Bugaev stormed to a double victory in downhill at the IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup in Kimberley, Canada, on Wednesday (25 February), showing his form ahead of the 2015 World Championships.
Bugaev finished ahead of compatriot Alexander Vetrov and Australian Mitchell Gourley in two races, only three days away from the Opening Ceremony of the Worlds on 28 February a short distance away in Panorama.
Canadian skiers also showed why they will be ones to watch at home, as 18-year-old Erin Latimer took first place in both women’s standing races. Russia’s Mariia Papulova split Latimer and third-placed Canadian Alana Ramsay both times.
In the first men’s visually impaired, Spain’s Gabriel Gorce (1:16.34) guided by Josep Arnau Ferrer took victory over Russia’s Ivan Frantsev (1:16.60) and guide German Agranovskii. Gorces’ world and Paralympic champion teammate Jon Santacana (1:19.76) and guide Miguel Galindo finished in third.
In the second downhill race, Frantsev (1:15.13) took the win. This time Sochi silver medallist Slovakian Miroslav Haraus (1:15.65) and guide Maros Hudik were second. Gorce (1:15.94) completed the podium, knocking Santacana into fourth.
Australian Melissa Perrine and guide Andrew Bor took victory in both women’s visually impaired races ahead of the USA’s Danelle Umstead and husband guide Rob.
The men’s sitting was dominated by Japanese skiers Taiki Morii and Kenji Natsume, who shared one victory each.
Morii (1:15.29) was triumphant in race one, followed by Natsume (1:15.65) and US skier Tyler Walker (1:16.32).
Natsume (1:14.74) came back stronger in the next race to push Morii (1:15.83) into second, whilst Walker (1:16.75) collected his second podium in third.
Japan’s Momoko Muraoka was the only finisher in both women’s sitting events.
Competition continues in Kimberley with super-combined on Thursday (26 February), the last races ahead of the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
Full results are available at: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/calendar-and-results.
Panorama 2015 is expected to attract 130 skiers from 30 countries. Following the Opening Ceremony on 28 February, downhill will kick-off the action on 4 March.
A livestream will be available at www.Panorama2015.com alongside live results. Updates will be posted to Twitter.com/IPCAlpine, Facebook.com/IPCAlpineSkiing and Instagram @Paralympics.