Australia’s Joany Badenhorst has grabbed a podium finish at the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships in Big White, Canada, taking bronze in the snowboard cross.
Badenhorst went into the event as a medal chance, having won double gold at the Lake Tahoe World Cups just prior to the event and enjoying a consistently good build up in training.
The 22-year-old from Griffith won through the quarter-final stage of the lower limb 2 impairment group, to reach the semi-final where she lost to Dutch boarder Lisa Bunshoten. This resulted in Badenhorst competing in the bronze medal race where she was too good for Renske van Beek from the Netherlands, taking the win and the bronze medal.
“It was challenging conditions with fog coming in and athletes having to deal with ice building on their goggles and borderline visibility,” Head Coach Lukas Prem said of the race day in Canada.
“Joany was riding extremely well in these conditions – she could really tap into her potential. In the semi-final she was leading in the start straight but at the end of it her opponents board shot into hers and she lost all her speed. She caught up though and gave Lisa Bunschoten a run for her money.
“She really dominated in the small final afterwards, I’m very happy with her performance.”
In other events, Australia’s Simon Patmore was fifth in the men’s snowboard cross for upper limb impairment.
Patmore put down two strong qualifying runs and won his round of 8 match up against Great Britain’s Ben Moore, a World Championship medallist. Unfortunatley Patmore made a mistake in his quarter-final and went down to Italian Jacopo Luchini to miss out on a shot at the medals.
Teenager Ben Tudhope was unlucky to not advance past the first round in his snowboard cross for men with lower limb 2 impairment. Tudhope tried his best to out-maneuver his opponent – Gerrit van Bruggen of Canada – and after waiting for the opportunity, found it at the fourth turn. However a small mistake in landing on the second last jump saw Tudhope concede his lead. He finished ninth overall, an admirable top-10 result in a strong field of 19 riders.
All athletes are now preparing for the banked slalom event on 7 February. Badenhorst in particular will be looking to replicate her success and having won silver two years ago in the event, she will be looking to round out her World Championships medal collection with a gold.
By Ski and Snowboard Australia
Photo with thanks to Ski and Snowboard Australia