Australia has won its first medal of the IPC Para-alpine Skiing World Cup season, with two-time Paralympian Melissa Perrine clinching gold in the women’s visually impaired slalom overnight in Kuhtai, Austria.

Having competed in the giant slalom in the previous two days of competition without success, Perrine was fired up to post a strong result with her sighted guide and coach Christian Geiger and delivered emphatically.

She placed first in both runs for a final time of 1:54.26 to blitz her rivals, finishing more than six seconds in front of Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick (2:00.49) and guide Jennifer Kehoe and Millie Knight (2:05.69) guided by Brett Wild.

Delighted to be back on top of the podium after her last slalom World Cup victory in St. Moritz, Switzerland in December 2016, the 29-year-old said to the IPC: “It feels pretty good, we managed to get two solid runs. We focussed on keeping a solid and consistent pace, just trying to replicate what we were doing in training.”

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Novocastrian Patrick Jensen and his guide Lara Falk improved on their placing on the previous day’s giant slalom event, finishing 8th in a time of 2:02.38. Shaun Pianta and his guide Jeremy O’Sullivan competed in the same event but were unable to finish their first run.

In the men’s standing class, 2018 co-captain Mitchel Gourley contested a competitive first run in a time of 50.62 but did not finish his second run. Jonty O’Callaghan competed in the same event but was also unable to finish his first run.

Sit-skier Mark Soyer was the final Australian to compete in Kuhtai overnight but like Gourley, was unable to get through his second run.

The IPC Para-alpine Skiing World Cup in Austria will continue tonight at 10.00 CET, with its final night of competition.

By APC Media

Posted: 22/12/2017