Former able-bodied Europa Cup champion Matthias Lanzinger has not found the transition to para-Alpine Skiing quite so easy after losing his lower left leg in an accident three years ago.
In his first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing European Cup, the Austrian did not make the podium, finishing fourth on the first day of the Slalom Standing event and failing to finish one of his runs on the second day due to inclement weather.
Rather, it was Russia’s Alexey Bugaev who delivered a surprise at the competition in Kuehtai, Austria, which ran from 15-16 December. Bugaev, who just turned 15, won the second day of the Slalom Standing competition with a time of 1:40.80 after finishing third on the first day.
His Russian teammate, up-and-coming Alexandr Alyabyev, took the title in the event’s opener.
Valery Redkozubov of Russia barely nicked out first-place finishes on both days of the Slalom Visually Impaired event, beating out Slovakia’s Radomir Dudas by a mere 37 hundredths of a second on the first day to claim the title.
Germany’s Franz Hanfstingl and Thomas Nolte both won one of the Slalom Sitting competitions, in which 18 men’s racers failed to finish on the first day and 15 on the second day due to the weather.
Germany’s five-time Paralympic medallist Andrea Rothfuss was the only woman to win both days of her event, as she cruised to her two titles in the Slalom Standing competition, not allowing her competitors to come closer than eight seconds to her winning times.
Austria’s Claudia Loesch and Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber won the women’s Slalom Sitting event and Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova and Great Britain’s Jade Etherington won the women’s Slalom Visually Impaired competition.
The event will continue through 18 December, but points from the final two days will not count toward European Cup standings.