Canada’s Kurt Oatway led the way at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals on Wednesday (3 March), taking the win in the men’s downhill sitting and securing the overall globe on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, USA.
Paralympian Oatway (1:12.93) made sure of his place at the top of the leader board with a convincing victory over Austria’s World Championships silver medallist Roman Rabl (1:14.43).
“The course today when the sit skiers got to go was a bit soft and bumpy,” Oatway said of the conditions. “It wasn’t an easy track by any stretch but manageable and I pulled out a win today.
“It’s a massive improvement over last year and right now I’m sitting third for overall [men’s sitting].”
Confident of another good result in the super-G on Thursday (3 March) where he currently trails Rabl by 20 points, Oatway continued: “I just need a couple more points in the super-G and see where I end up. Competition is stiff. The best racers in the world are here and nobody is just going to give you a win.”
Japan’s Akira Kano (1:14.91) was third.
A series of other skiers did enough to secure downhill globes despite not finishing on top of the podium.
Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster (1:22.62) was third in her women’s sitting race, but the 20-year-old secured the overall World Cup nonetheless.
Her Paralympic champion teammate Anna Schaffelhuber (1:20.89) was the victor in the race, doubling up on her wins on Buttermilk Mountain.
The USA’s Laurie Stephens (1:21.06) finished second, also cementing her second place in the overall standings.
In the men’s visually impaired the USA’s Mark Bathum (1:12.04) followed up on his race win from Tuesday (1 March) with another first place finish guided by Cade Yamamoto.
However it was Canada’s world champion Mac Marcoux (1:12.81) and his guide brother BJ who took the overall globe with second place.
Russia’s Ivan Frantsev (1:14.11) completed the both the race and overall World Cup podiums with guide German Agranovskii.
In the women’s visually impaired, there was another British sweep with Millie Knight (1:19.70) leading out her teammates with guide Brett Wild.
Menna Fitzpatrick (1:21.73), guided by Jennifer Kehoe, was second ahead of Kelly Gallagher (1:22.17) and guide Gary Smith in third.
Absent Belgian Eleonor Sana will be handed the overall globe, followed by Knight and Fitzpatrick in second and third respectively.
In the men’s standing, New Zealand’s Adam Hall knocked Russian world champion Aleksei Bugaev out of the final World Cup top three.
Improving on his third place from Tuesday, Hall (1:14.71) claimed the maiden speed win of his career: “The conditions were really good, it was good to see the weather improve from this morning,” he said. “The surface was amazing, the small little changes they made from yesterday made it run a little smoother and I had a lot of fun out there.
“Yesterday was my first ever downhill World Cup podium and to top that off with a win today is definitely a career best for me so far. I’ve only just recently started to do downhill so I think we’re heading in a good direction.”
With the win, Hall took third place in the overall rankings.
Austria’s Paralympic champion Markus Salcher (1:14.83) made sure of his points lead to take the globe with second place. Bugaev (1:14.91) finished third in the race.
Having secured the overall World Cup on Tuesday 1 March, France’s world and Paralympic champion Marie Bochet (1:18.66) continued her winning streak in the women’s standing.
The USA’ Stephenie Jallen (1:18.90) was just a whisker behind in second. The Netherlands’ Anna Jochemsen (1:22.39) completed the top three, with the Dutchwoman also finishing second in the overall rankings.
Full results are available here.
Full IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup rankings can be found at the IPC Alpine Skiing website.
The overall super-G globe winners will now be decided in Aspen on Thursday and Friday (3-4 March).