Skiers from six different countries claimed the overall Europa Cup titles, as the Para alpine skiing season concluded in Klovsjo, Sweden, on Thursday.
A consistent performance throughout the season guaranteed Andorra’s Roger Puig Davi the overall title in the men’s standing class. But the main spotlight was on Sweden’s own Aron Lindstroem who hiked up from the bottom of the rankings to second overall thanks to an outstanding performance at his home resort.
The Swedish teenager had a shaky start with sixth place in giant slalom but grabbed three straight silvers in the following giant slalom and slalom races.
Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl also had a solid run in Sweden where he won bronze in both giant slalom races and a bronze in the second slalom race, thus earning himself third place overall.
Pfyl’s compatriot Theo Gmur was less lucky despite coming into the finals as one of the medal favourites. The double world champion started off with a promising gold in the first giant slalom race but was unable to finish the second and was fourth in both slaloms, which put him in fifth place overall.
Three gold medals at the Europa Cup finals and an unexpected third overall were the perfect finish to a sensational comeback year for Jesper Pedersen.
The Norwegian sit skier came into the finals without any points because he missed the earlier stops due to a serious illness, but even with the overall Europa Cup title out of reach, Pedersen put in his best effort.
He won gold medals in the first three races in Sweden and looked poised to extend his streak to four with a winning first run in the last race, before crashing out in the second.
The three golds in Klovsjo earned Pedersen third place in the overall competition behind Dutch duo Jeroen Kampschreur and Niels de Langen.
Russia’s Ivan Frantsev and Varvara Voronchikhina achieved a perfect race record in Klovsjo, sweeping gold in all the races.
Frantsev’s golden spree in the men’s vision impaired took him up from 0 to 400 points, to finish just 40 points behind overall Europa Cup winner Miroslav Haraus of Slovakia.
France’s Hyacinthe Deleplace finished third overall thanks to his two silver medals in giant slalom in Klovsjo.
It was also a successful competition for 16-year-old Voronchikhina who smashed the races in women’s standing.
Marie Bochet took her second overall title of the season, to follow up on her undefeated streak at the World Cup, thanks to the 500 points she earned before Klovsjo, where she did not compete.
Putting in a good last-minute effort, Switzerland’s Bigna Schmidt finished the season second overall with two bronze medals in giant slalom in Sweden.
There were no races in the women’s vision impaired and sitting classes in Klovsjo, but the overall titles were still awarded based on earlier results.
Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher was the overall winner in the women’s vision impaired, while Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber and Anna-Lena Forster went one-two in the women’s sitting.
Complete results from the season can be found on World Para Alpine Skiing’s website.