With two full days of competition now complete, the 2009 Paralympic Winter World Cup is in the middle of high competition in Solleftea, Sweden, with around 350 athletes and team leaders from 26 different countries.
Yesterday’s Slalom competition in Alpine Skiing saw a strong showing from Austria, Spain and France. In the Women’s Visually Impaired race, Spain’s Anna Cohi took the top position with guide Raquel Garcia, followed by Andorra’s Franc Ramirez Capitan and guide Manuel Fernandez. The Women’s Standing competition saw the Netherlands’ Alyda Norbruis and Anna Jochemsen finish in first and second respectively.
The Women’s Sitting race had Anna Schaffelhuber (GER) in first with a time of 2:05.32, followed by Linnea Ranudd (SWE) and Delphine Le Sausse (FRA).
The Men’s Visually Impaired Slalom race had the top two spots held by Spains Gabriel Gorce with a time of 1:36.21 and Andres Boira with a time of 1:36.62. France dominated the top three positions of the Men’s Standing competition, with Cedri Amafroi-Broisat in first, followed by Romain Riboud and Laurent Caul-Futy. Much like the French athletes, Austrians took over the top spots in the Men’s Sitting race. Philipp Bonadimann finished first with a time of 1:30.68, closely followed by Andreas Kapfinger just 0.02 behind him, and Dietmar Dorn in third.
The results from the first day, 3 February in the Slalom competition had a few different athletes taking the top positions. Ursula Pueyo from Spain took second in the Women’s Standing race, with a time of 2:08.03, finishing between Norbruis and Jochemsen. In the Men’s Visually Impaired race, Norbert Holik from Slovakia came in first with a time of 1:36.63.
The Biathlon event from 4 February saw several French athletes in the top positions. In the Men’s Sitting competition, Trygve Larsen from Norway took first, followed by Georges Bettega and Romain Rosique both from France. The first Men’s Pursuit, starting at 10:00 had another athlete from Norway, Nils-Erik Ulset in first, followed by Yannik Bourseaux (FRA) and Thomas Oelsner (GER).
Shoko Ota from Japan took first in the Women’s Pursuit, followed by Jody Barber from Canada and Pamela Novaglio from Italy.
The competition was officially opened by Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Minister of Culture and Sport. Liljeroth said that since the first Solleftea Winter Games in 1976 was held not too far away, the region has become an important centre for Paralympic Winter Sport.
“I am proud of what has been achieved here in Solleftea, and in many other places in Sweden,” Liljeroth said. “I am also very proud of the athletes. Over the past few years, Paralympic performances are becoming more and more extraordinary and the 2009 Paralympic Winter World Cup is definitely highlighting how sports can be accessible to anyone, regardless of disability.”