Month in para-sport review: January 2015

Your monthly recap of all the sporting events which took place last month. 02 Feb 2015
Ukraine's Oleksandra Kononova won golds in biathlon and cross-country at the Cable 2015 Nordic skiing Worlds.

Ukraine's Oleksandra Kononova skies to her latest gold medal at the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, USA.

ⒸJames Netz

The first month of the year was an extremely busy one with world titles decided, new disciplines contested and World Cup meetings taking place both on water and on snow. Find out what happened during January.

IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships

Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova stole the show at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships between 23 January and 1 February, picking up six individual gold medals in women’s standing events.

On home snow in Cable, Andrew Soule made history by winning the most ever medals for a US para-Nordic skier at a World Championships, claiming five medals including three silver and two bronze in men’s sitting biathlon and cross-country.

Germany’s Andrea Eskau completed a sweep of the women’s sitting cross-country events as did Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin and guide Andrey Tokarev in men’s visually impaired biathlon.

As they did in Sochi, Russia topped the medals table winning 24 gold medals.

- Read all IPC Nordic Skiing news here.

Australian Open

The Netherlands’ Jiske Griffioen ended her long wait for a Grand Slam singles title by beating Japan’s World No.1 Yui Kamiji to win the Australian Open women's wheelchair singles on Saturday (31 January).

Japan's Shingo Kunieda claimed his 18th Grand Slam singles title with victory against France’s Stephane Houdet in the men's wheelchair singles final, whilst the quads final was won by Australia’s Dylan Alcott after he defeated the USA’s David Wagner.

There was also success in the doubles for Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley and Kamiji, Kunieda and Houdet and Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and Wagner.

- Read more about it.

ISAF Sailing World Cup

Norwegian crews enjoyed their time in Miami, USA, winning two out of three para-sport disciplines. Bjørnar Erikstad picked up his second World Cup title with victory in the 2.4mR class, whilst his teammates Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg topped the podium in the Sonar class.

In the two-person SKUD-18 class, Australia’s London 2012 Paralympic champions Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch raced to their second victory in a row after also winning in Melbourne in December.

- You can learn more here.

IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup

Two World Cup meetings were held during January, the first of which was staged in La Molina, Spain between 8-11 January.

Russia’s Valerii Redkozubov, guided by Evgeny Geroev, in the men’s visually impaired and teammate Alexey Bugaev in the men’s standing, grabbed the headlines winning all four of their races to show their form ahead of the World Championships.

Unfortunately due to weather conditions, there was only one day of racing at the second World Cup of the month in Tignes, France, on 28 January with skiers enjoying their first two downhill races of the season.

On home snow, Marie Bochet won both of her races in the women’s standing as did Austria’s Markus Salcher in the men’s equivalent.

- Here is a review of the action.

IPC Para-Snowboard World Cup

The first of two World Cup meetings in January took place in Aspen, USA, between 11-13 January and saw head-to-head races held for the very first time, much to the acclaim of participating athletes.

US teammates Mike Shea and Mike Schultz, the Netherlands’ Bibian Mentel-Spee, France’s Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon and Great Britain’s Ben Moore will go down in history as the first winners of the event.

At the second World Cup meeting of the month in Big White, Canada, (17-20 January) the second banked slalom events were held after they were successfully introduced at November’s World Cup in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.

After three World Cup events this season, Mentel-Spee and Hernandez-Cervellon remain undefeated in all races.

- Click here to read the review.

IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup

Germany’s 25-year-old Paralympic slalom champion Andrea Rothfuss was the star performer at the meeting in Matrei, Austria, between 16-18 January winning all three of her races in the women’s standing class.

Claudia Loesch on home snow was on course to achieve the same in the women’s sitting class but failed to finish her final race of the meet, the giant slalom.

The USA’s Tyler Walker secured his first win of the Europa Cup season, whilst Russia’s Valerii Redkozubov and guide Evgeny Geroev maintained their excellent form winning two out of the three races. The pair has now won six out of seven Europa Cup races this season in the men’s visually impaired.

- A full review can be found here.

Ice Sledge Hockey

Austria qualified for March’s IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool in Ostersund Sweden, with victory over Finland in a three-game playoff held in Helsinki, Finland (31 January-1 February).

After winning one game each on the first day of matches, Austria came from behind in the deciding fixture to win 2-1 and secure their place at the World Championships B-Pool alongside South Korea, Great Britain, Slovakia and Poland and the host nation Sweden.

- Check out the news story here.