Melissa Perrine 2013It was a difficult day for Australia’s winter Paralympians on the slopes of St Moritz in Switzerland, with fog, snow and icy conditions hampering the team’s results.

Vision-impaired skier Melissa Perrine, who won a silver medal in the giant slalom on Monday, finished third out of three competitors in the slalom behind Henrietta Farkasova of Slovakia (gold) and Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia (silver).

Perrine is currently ranked eighth in the world in the slalom and in Sochi will also face her team mate and world number one in slalom Jessica Gallagher, who will race in tomorrow’s second slalom run.

In the sitting class, New South Wales athlete Victoria Pendergast finished second of two competitors but remained some way off the pace, finishing 30.44 seconds behind the winner.

In the men’s class, Mitchell Gourley finished in 12th position, 13.34 seconds behind the French winner Vincent Gauthier-Manuel, while fellow Australian Toby Kane did not finish the race.

“Conditions were extreme today, with a lot of fog and snow fall on a very icy base,” said Australian Paralympic Winter Head Coach, Steve Graham.

“Conditions tomorrow will be sunny, which should help all skiers.”

Three-time Winter Paralympian Cameron Rahles-Rahbula, who will be competing at his final Paralympic Games in Sochi, will join the squad this weekend in Abtenau, Austria.


By Rebekka Wake

Posted 06/02/2014