The 2017-18 World Para Alpine Skiing Word Cup came to a thrilling climax on Sunday (11 February) with a number of close finishes in two super-G races in Kimberley, Canada.
With the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games just 25 days away, Canadian athletes excelled on home snow; Mac Marcoux, guided by Jack Leitch, won both races in the men’s vision impaired while there were also victories for Alana Ramsay, Mollie Jepson and Alexis Guimond.
Both women’s standing races were hugely competitive. In the first race Ramsay edged out compatriot Jepsen by just 0.12 for her second World Cup victory of the season. Dutch skier Anna Jochemsen completed the podium, 0.51 seconds behind Ramsay’s blistering winning time.
The second race saw 18-year-old Jepson take her season’s first win, a victory that was sufficient for her to claim the super-G World Cup title 20 points ahead of Ramsay, who finished third in the second race. Jochemsen was the runner-up in the second race, 0.43 seconds behind Jepson.
Having dominated the earlier World Cup events however, France’s Marie Bochet – who did not compete in Kimberley – took the overall crystal globe.
Austria’s Markus Salcher was close to going four-for-four in Kimberley, however victory in the first race and a runner-up spot in the second were enough for him to win the super-G World Cup title.
In the opening race, the reigning super-G world champion clocked the fastest time ahead of Switzerland’s Theo Gmur and Canada’s Alexis Guimond, respectively. Guimond triumphed in the second race, and Switzerland’s Robin Cuche completed the podium.
Gmur’s three top-two finishes in Kimberley secured him the overall men’s standing crystal globe.
Marcoux underlined that he is the man to beat at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games landing four wins from four over the weekend.
The world champion topped the podium in both races, to add the super-G World Cup title to the downhill globe he won on Saturday. Marcoux’s dominance also gave him the overall 2017-18 World Cup crown.
Slovakia’s Jakub Krako, guided by Branislav Brozman, finished second in both races behind Marcoux and his compatriot Miroslav Haraus with guide Maros Hudik completed race one’s podium. Spain’s Yon Santacana Maiztegui, guided by Miguel Galindo Garces, did likewise in the second race.
Menna Fitzpatrick, with guide Jennifer Kehoe, continued to challenge Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova, guided by Natalia Subrtova, in the women’s races, and it paid off. Fitzpatrick beat her Slovakian rival in the first race. Despite a runner-up finish behind Germany’s Ewa Noemi Ristau and her guide Lucien Gerkau later in the day, Fitzpatrick was crowned the 2017-18 super-G title winner. Her compatriot Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild enjoyed a pair of third place finishes.
Farkasova’s superb season so far was recognised with the 2017-18 World Cup trophy.
Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber dominated the women’s sitting on Sunday, finishing more than two seconds ahead of her competitors in both races to earn the super-G World Cup title. Compatriot Anna-Lena Forster and the USA’s Laurie Stephens finished second in the first and second races respectively, while Japan’s Momoka Muraoka rounded off the top-three both times.
Despite Schaffelhuber’s success, her great rival Austria’s Claudia Loesch was crowned the women’s sitting overall winner.
Just 0.12 seconds separated the top two in the first men’s sitting race with Andrew Kurka edging out Norway’s Jesper Pedersen and Austria’s Roman Rabl. The US skier enjoyed a fantastic weekend capturing the World Cup titles for both super-G and downhill.
The second super-G race was a one-two finish for Japan, as Akira Kano knocked off Taiki Morii for the win.
Pedersen’s second and third place super-G finishes respectively earned him the overall World Cup title.
The Kimberley World Para Alpine Skiing Cup Finals were the last major competition before PyeongChang 2018, which opens 9 March.
Complete results, video highlights and the final World Cup rankings can be found on a dedicated World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup website.
2017-18 Overall World Cup Winners
Standing – Marie Bochet, FRA
Sitting – Claudia Loesch, AUT
Vision impaired – Henrieta Farkasova, SVK
Standing – Theo Gmur, SUI
Sitting – Jesper Pedersen, NOR
Vision impaired – Mac Marcoux, CAN