French Skiers Excel in Speed Events

Marie Bochet and Vincent Gauthier-Manuel won the Standing trophies for the speed events at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup. 16 Mar 2012
Marie Bochet

France's Marie Bochet won gold in the Super Combined at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Panorama, Canada.

ⒸMalcolm Carmichael / Alpine Canada

France’s Marie Bochet and Vincent Gauthier-Manuel both won the World Cup trophy for the speed events after racing the Super Combined on Thursday (15 March) at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Cup finals in Panorama, Canada.

The overall speed event trophy took into account the Super-G and Super Combined results. Thursday’s Super Combined comprised a Super-G and Slalom event.

In the women’s Super Combined Standing, Bochet had a tough task beating Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss, who was faster in her Super-G run. But Bochet excelled in the Slalom run to take gold in the Super Combined and win the speed trophy with 430 points. Rothfuss was just behind her with 420 points.

Adam Hall skied to victory in the men’s Super Combined Standing, though he did not have the fastest time in either the Super-G or Slalom run. His consistency in having the second fastest time on both runs won him the gold. Gauthier-Manuel took silver and Russia’s Alexandr Alyabyev, who had the fastest Slalom run, took bronze. Austria’s Markus Salcher, who had the fastest Super-G time, came fifth after a disappointing Slalom run.

The overall speed event title went to Gauthier-Manuel with 400 points. Salcher was in second place with 331 points.

In the women’s Visually Impaired, Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova skied to victory in the Super Combined, though Russia’s Alexandra Frantseva was faster in the Slalom run. Farkasova’s win put put her on 460 points to win the women’s Visually Impaired speed event trophy. Frantseva had 420 points.

Slovakia’s Mirsoslav Haraus won the men’s Super Combined Visually Impaired race on the strength of his Slalom performance. But it was not enough to take the overall speed event title. This went to Spain’s Yon Santacana Maiztegui, who came second in the Super Combined. The Spaniard finished the speed events on 380 points, followed by Haraus on 330 points.

In the Women’s Sitting, USA’s Laurie Stephens had been leading the Super-G rankings, but in the Super Combined, she did not finish the Slalom race, collecting no points for the event. Canada’s Kimberly Joines picked up gold, taking advantage of the soft snow conditions. She was followed by USA’s Alana Nichols.

“So yeah, not my best slalom performance but still landed a silver in the super combined! I’ll take it! #WCFinals #USParalympics,” Nichols tweeted from @alananichols21.

Nichols’ silver was enough to propel her to the top of the speed event rankings to take the trophy with 420 points. Stephens was second with 360 points.

In the men’s Super Combined Sitting, USA’s Tyler Walker skied to victory on the strength of his Slalom time (40.33 seconds). Japan’s Taiki Morii and Takeshi Suzuki tied on silver with an overall time of 1:43.70 for both runs. Morii was much faster on the Super-G run and Suzuki made up the time in the Slalom run.

The overall speed event trophy went to Morii on 360 points. Walker finished second on 306 points.

The IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup final is taking place in Panorama, Canada, where skiers braved a heavy snow-fall all day. It is the first time an IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup event has been staged there.

"We are proud to be hosting the 2012 IPC World Cup Finals at Panorama," said Rick Jensen, President and CEO of Panorama Mountain Village. "Having the IPC World Cup here is not only a win for us, but for Canada as well. It once again sets our country on the world stage as the destination for winter sport."

Racing continues on Friday 16 March with Giant Slalom and Slalom races. USA still leads the team rankings with 4,441 points, followed by Russia with 3,935 points.

Bochet leads the overall women’s rankings with 1,240 points, followed by Farkasova with 1,180. Russia’s Valery Redkozubov leads the men’s rankings with 1,075 points followed by Santacana Maiztegui with 1,010 points.

The close results mean nothing will be decided until the very last race.