Australian Paralympic Winter Team Co-captain Joany Badenhorst has begun the IPC Para-snowboard World Cup season in style, claiming silver in the banked slalom in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.
Following a silver medal finish in the same event at the Europa Cup the previous day, Badenhorst cemented herself as a true medal contender for next year’s Paralympic Games, with a run of 47.84s; less than one second behind Lisa Bundschoten (NED)’s first place finish.
“Joany shook off the nerves really well, improving her times from run to run,” Australian Para-snowboard Head Coach Lukas Prem said.
“While she couldn’t edge off Lisa Bundschoten from the top spot of the podium, the second place finish still gives her confidence going into the Paralympic season.”
Now in the final months before the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Prem is looking for marked improvement from not only Badenhorst, but Sochi Paralympian Ben Tudhope (SB-LL) and their team-mates Simon Patmore (SB-UL) and Sean Pollard (SB-UL).
“With the most competitive field Para-snowboard has ever seen, all of our athletes have still managed to improve their times and all four athletes have finished in the top eight, which is fantastic.”
Pushing hard to move up the rankings in the men’s SB-LL class, Tudhope finished in eighth place, in a time of 42.67s. At the Europa Cup the previous day, Tudhope won bronze but made a some costly errors in the World Cup which affected his chances.
“Ben had a couple of mistimed turns, which got in the way of a podium finish, but he improved his riding from yesterday.”
In other results, Pollard made his mark in the SB-UL class for athletes with upper limb impairments, placing fifth, with Patmore finishing close behind him in eighth place.
“I’m really happy with the overall performance of the team. Traditionally we’ve never had the best results on this indoor slope in The Netherlands but all athletes are absolutely up there with the world’s best.”
All four athletes will compete on day two, in the snowboard cross event.
By APC Media