Para sport review: January 2018

Winter athletes are getting ready for March’s Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang 31 Jan 2018
Year kicked off with multiple competitions across the globe

Year kicked off with multiple competitions across the globe

ⒸGetty Images, Managua 2018

World Para Alpine Skiing World Cups

Three World Cups in Zagreb, Croatia; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia; and Veysonnaz, Switzerland, took place in January. The penultimate races in Tignes, France, was cancelled due to dangerous conditions.

France’s Frederic Francois was in outstanding form in Zagreb as he stormed to the first World Cup victory in his career.

In Kranjska Gora, neutral 15-year-old athlete Varvara Voronchikhina ended Paralympic champion Marie Bochet’s unbeaten run.

German skier Anna-Lena Forster also denied Claudia Loesch a seventh World Cup triumph in the women's sitting.

World Para Nordic Skiing World Cups

Oberried, Germany, staged the second World Cup of the year, with nearly 200 athletes from 32 countries competing across both cross-country and biathlon races. Ukraine’s Yuliia Batenkova-Bauman was one of the stars after securing a dramatic win in the women’s standing. The USA’s Oksana Masters added more golds to her season’s haul in the women’s sitting, and France’s Benjamin Daviet won the only race he was missing from this season’s World Cup circuit.

Australian Open

Japan’s Shingo Kunieda won his 41st men’s singles Grand Slam. The Netherlands’ Diede de Groot beat Japan’s world No.1 Yui Kamiji to pick up her second women’s singles Grand Slam title and home crowd favourite Dylan Alcott took his fourth consecutive Australian Open title in the quad singles. There were no surprises in the doubles events.

Sydney Super Series

Kunieda showed he is back to top form after fully recovering from a series of injuries and won the first Super Series of the year in the men’s singles. Japan also celebrated a title in the women’s singles through Yui Kamiji.

Managua 2018 Para Central American Games

Over 300 athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama competed across six sports at the second edition of the sub-regional event. Panama ended top of the medals table with 22 golds, 10 silvers and seven bronze. Nicaragua’s Gabriel Cuadra Holmann, Guatemala’s Oscar Raxon, Panama's Olbeniz Atencio and El Salvador's Gerardo Reyes were some of the stand out athletes.

Para ice hockey tournaments

Two international friendly competitions were held in Turin, Italy; and Nagano, Japan, that featured teams competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. In Turin, the last major international competition before the Games, the USA went a perfect 5-0, including a 6-0 win over Italy. South Korea shutout Norway to win in Nagano.