PyeongChang 2018: Day 7 preview16.03.2018
First ever snowboard banked slalom events at Winter Paralympics to be held at Jeongseon Alpine Centre
The biathlon competition will close with the long distance events, the first snowboard banked slalom competitions will take place at a Winter Paralympics, wheelchair curling semi-finals will be contested at the Gangneung Curling Centre and Para ice hockey 5-8 placements will be determined.
The men's and women’s sitting competitions will kick off the day. Once again, the USA’s Oksana Masters is the one to watch as she was dominant throughout the World Cup season. But her worst performance in the circuit came in the same event in Oberried, Germany, where she finished ninth. The World Championships bronze medallist will likely face tough competition from Germany’s reigning world champion Anja Wicker.
In the men’s sitting, another Germany's defending world champion, Martin Fleig, is a strong favourite. However, Ukrainian teenage talent Taras Rad could impress on his Paralympic debut following consistent World Cup podium finishes in biathlon.
Standing and vision impaired categories will follow in the afternoon.
France’s world champion Benjamin Daviet won the event in two World Cups this season in the men’s standing. Worlds bronze medallist Vitaliy Lukyanenko from Ukraine showed strong form at the last World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland, to win the men’s vision impaired event.
In the women’s side, Neutral Paralympic Athlete Ekaterina Rumyantseva captured the overall biathlon crystal globe, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Liashenko carries the gold medal from the Worlds in Finsterau, Germany. Ukraine’s Oksana Shyshkova won the vision impaired category at the World Cup Finals. As the defending world champion, she can upgrade her bronze from Sochi 2014.
The USA’s reigning world champion and recently crowned overall World Cup champion Brenna Huckaby heads the women’s SB-LL1. The Netherlands’ Paralympic champion in the snowboard cross SB-LL2, Bibian Mentel-Spee, holds the 2017 world title in the women’s SB-LL2 but was not able to compete this season due to cancer treatment. Her compatriot Lisa Bunschoten is in strong form to run for the gold.
France’s defending world champion Maxime Montaggioni and the USA’s Worlds runner-up Mike Minor have gone back-and-forth this season in the men’s SB-UL. Dutch rider Chris Vos owns the world title, but the USA’s Mike Schultz has had a strong year to finish with the overall men’s SB-LL1 World Cup title.
The men’s SB-LL2 will be a tight challenge among Japan’s overall World Cup winner Gurimu Narita, the USA’s Sochi 2014 medallists Mike Shea and Evan Strong, and Finland’s world champion Matti Suur-Hamari, who already won one gold in PyeongChang in the snowboard cross.
Semi-finals take place, with China facing Canada in search for its first ever Paralympic Winter Games medal, and Norway versus hosts South Korea in front of the enthusiastic home crowd.
This is a rest day for the teams competing for medals. Japan and Sweden will fight for the seventh place while Norway and Czech Republic will play to determine the 5-6 placements.
Every competition as well as the Closing Ceremony can be watched live right here on the International Paralympic Committee’s website. Paralympic.org Highlights of each day’s action will also be made available.