Golden Gourley goes back to back

Day 2 of the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup sees Aussie Mitchell Gourley claiming a second gold and team mates Jessica Gallagher and Victoria Pendergast also standing on the podium. 03 Sep 2013
Henrieta Farkasova competing in Vancouver

Henrieta Farkasova (AUT) also finished first in the women's giant slalom visually impiared category in Thredbo.

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By Australian Paralympic Committee

“I’m really happy with the way it all came together today. It’s great to win another World Cup at home”

Mitch Gourley has stormed his way to a second gold medal at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Thredbo, as Australia won four medals on a memorable day for the host nation.

Racing giant slalom, Jessica Gallagher (women’s vision-impaired class) and Victoria Pendergast (women’s sitting class) began Australia’s medal haul with silver and bronze respectively, before Gourley and Cameron Rahles-Rahbula claimed a one-two finish in the men’s standing class.

Thrilled to climb to the top of the podium for the second straight day, Gourley said it was even more special with Rahles-Rahbula sharing the podium with him. Rahles-Rahbula, a two-time Winter Paralympic bronze medallist, crashed out of medal contention on day one.

Gourley (1:32.08) edged out Rahles-Rahbula (1:33.40) by 1.32 seconds for victory while Slovakia’s Martin France (1:36.61) claimed the bronze.

“I’m really happy with the way it all came together today. It’s great to win another World Cup at home,” Gourley said.

“And I’m obviously really happy that Cam put two great runs together as well, especially after yesterday.

“[Giant Slalom] has probably been more my domain over the past couple of years than Cam’s, and I obviously wanted to keep the upper hand there, but it’s nice to stand next to him on the podium at a home World Cup for sure.”

Australian head coach Steve Graham said the performances from both Gourley and Rahles-Rahbula were outstanding.

“Mitch has been skiing really well, really solid and has had a lot of race experience this year. Cam hasn’t had much and for him to come out and do what he did today in both runs in those conditions was phenomenal. It was a terrific result for both guys.”

It also ended day two on the perfect note for the Australian team after Pendergast won her second ever World Cup medal and Gallagher added a silver to her collection of World Cup bronze.

Best regarded as a slalom skier, Gallagher is also aiming for a giant slalom medal at next year’s Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi and with new sighted guide Christian Geiger, will take plenty of confidence from this event.

“This is the first time racing World Cup for giant slalom and my first World Cup podium as a silver medallist, so really excited to do it on home soil,” Gallagher said.

“My mum’s here and a lot of other supporters are here watching so it’s nice to put it all together on the day.

“Christian and I are getting better with every run and we know what the things are we need to work on. Our connection was so much better today than it has been and it was pretty evident in the results and the times we were able to do. It’s a good confidence builder and hopefully we can continue that pattern heading into the northern hemisphere season.”

For Pendergast (2:05.53), who finished behind Americans Stephani Victor (1:42.94) and Laurie Stephens (1.46.44), her first World Cup bronze medal in Australia will hold a special place among her career highlights.

“It’s amazing to win a World Cup medal at home and to have everyone here to support you, I’m super happy at the moment,” Pendergast said.

The IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup continues tomorrow and Thursday with slalom races being contested on both days.

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