New Zealand’s Adam Hall opens alpine skiing season with slalom gold

The three-time Paralympian owned his home course at Southern Hemisphere Cup, which is part of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015. 24 Aug 2015
New Zealand's Adam Hall racing to gold

New Zealand's Adam Hall racing to gold

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By Audi quattro Winter Games NZ

“This year the conditions have been really good and the course was great.”

The 2015-2016 IPC Alpine Skiing season kicked off on Monday (24 August) in Queenstown, New Zealand, with home favourite Adam Hall stamping his name on yet another Audi quattro Winter Games NZ slalom title. Hall shined on his home course to win the gold medal in the IPC Alpine Skiing Southern Hemisphere Cup, which features the slalom and giant slalom races and is included in the Audi quattro Winter Games.

Hallwon back-to-back slalom golds at the Games in 2013, and did not disappoint fans on Monday when he was the clear winner in both runs, clocking 38.13 and 36.10 for an overall time of 1:14.23.

Hall finished ahead of Winter Games NZ 2013 slalom silver and bronze medallist Mitchell Gourley of Australia, who recorded a combined time of 1:18.23, just cutting out the USA’s third-place finisher and Sochi 2014 Paralympian James Stanton in 1:18.51.

“This year the conditions have been really good and the course was great,” said Hall, who is competing in his fourth Winter Games NZ. “The second run was a bit faster and a bit more open.”

New Zealand’s Corey Peters chased American Tyler Walker hard. But Peters settled with second place in 1:17.71, as Walker put down the two fastest runs for a combined time of 1:14.80.

Peters, who won giant slalom silver at Sochi 2014, said slalom is still a work in progress for him. Korea’s Sang Min Han took third in 1:19.87.

Walker made headlines with a serious crash during the Sochi Paralympics downhill which saw him airlifted and hospitalised.

“I love being back at Coronet Peak and it’s nice to have a proper winter in the middle of my summer particularly with the good quality snow that’s here at the moment,” Walker said.

The men’s visually impaired category was won by young Australian Patrick Jensen and his guide Kirsty O’Sullivan completing the course in a combined time of 1:51.80.

In the women’s visually impaired category, Korean Paralympian Jae Rim Yang and her guide Un So Ri Ko took top honours in 1:33.99 ahead of USA’s Danielle Umstead, who clocked 1:39.44. Umstead and her husband and guide Robert won bronze in the super combined event at the Sochi Paralympics.

In the women’s standing category, the USA’s Melanie Schwartz took first place on the podium in 1:40.36, ahead of teammate Stephanie Jallen, who clocked 1:48.30 after falling and having to take a hike in her first run.

Jallen, who was a bronze medallist in super G and super combined at Sochi 2014, recorded a second run time of 41.49, which was the fastest run of the day for the category.

US Paralympian Laurie Stephens had the field to herself to win gold, in 1:31.18 result.

The Southern Hemisphere Cup wraps up Tuesday (25 August) with the IPC Alpine Adaptive Giant Slalom Southern Hemisphere Cup races. Full results are available on the event website.

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