Intense Week of Competition Ahead for Alpine Skiers

Almost 100 skiers from 17 countries will compete in the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup. 19 Jan 2012
Athlete practicing Giant Slalom

Kimberley Joines (CAN) competes in the Women's Giant Slalom - Sitting at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

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Almost 100 skiers from 17 countries will compete in Slalom and Giant Slalom races in Arte Terme, Italy, in the first round of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Cup from 25-27 January.

Many of the competitors will come directly from the IPCAS Super G race and European Cup Slalom and Giant Slalom events in Abtenau, Austria (20-22 January).

With Canada’s Viviane Forest and Switzerland’s Nadja Baumgartner not competing due to injury, the women’s Visually Impaired class will see up and coming talent rise onto the podium. So far this season, Russia’s Alexandra Frantseva has been a dominant force with four gold medals and one silver in the European Cup, which she will be hoping to repeat. She will, however, be challenged by Australia’s Melissa Perrine especially in the IPCAS Super G event.

The women’s Slalom and Giant Slalom Standing will likely see Italy’s Melania Corradini, Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss and France’s Marie Bochet fight it out for the top podium spot, all of whom have won golds in European Cup events this season. They will also likely fight it out at the IPCAS Super G event, though Great Britain’s Heather Mills is also hoping to make an impression there as she continues her quest to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Canada’s Kimberly Joines, ranked first for Giant Slalom, Super G and second for Slalom in the women’s Sitting events, will be sure to make her mark after missing last season due to injury. Her comeback will meet stiff competition though from Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber, who has dominated the European Cup this season with eight golds and one silver.

Russia’s Valery Redkozubov will hope to continue his dominance in the men’s Slalom Visually Impaired, having won five out of five golds at the European Cup this season so far, though Spain’s Yon Santacana Maiztegui, who has not yet competed at cup level this season, may also challenge him. In the Giant Slalom and Super G, Slovakia’s Jakub Krako will likely have the edge.

In the men’s standing events, France’s Vincent Manuel-Gauthier, Russia’s Alexandr Alyabyev and Switzerland’s Michael Bruegger and Thomas Pfyl will all be wrestling for their positions on the podium. In the Giant Slalom, Austria’s Markus Salcher is likely to be a dominant force. It is unlikely, however, to be an all-European affair with Australia’s Toby Kane and Mitch Gourley also skiing well this season.

In the men’s sitting category, competition will be just as fierce. So far this season, Austria’s Philipp Bonadimann and Germany’s Thomas Nolte and Franz Hanfstingl have been battling it out for gold in the European Cup, but they will likely face a new challenge from Japan’s Takeshi Suzuki. USA’s Christopher Devlin-Young will be the one to beat in the Super G event.

With 48 medals up for grabs over the coming eight days, the coming week will see intense competition in the world of IPC Alpine Skiing.

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