16 March 2018
PyeongChang 2018: Learning curve for historic boarders
Historic boarders on steep learning curve
ParalympicsGB’s history-making Para snowboarders brought the curtain down on their maiden Winter Games with a hat-trick of top-ten finishes in the banked slalom.
The trio of James Barnes-Miller, Ben Moore and opening ceremony flagbearer Owen Pick weren’t able to reach the podium but still delivered big efforts to round off their competition in PyeongChang.
Barnes-Miller made history as ParalympicsGB’s first snowboarder when taking to the slopes in Monday’s snowboard cross, and he opened up proceedings again in the upper-limb category in today’s banked slalom.
His 57.00s second run was enough to hold on to a top-ten spot, with ParalympicsGB teammate Moore three places ahead in seventh after stopping the clock in 54.33s, also in his second run.
Ben Moore and James Barnes-Miller
Lost in the moment
But for Pick there was a feeling of disappointment in his ninth-place effort, a first run of 52.81s proving the quickest of his three after falling in his second.
But whatever the result, nothing could take away from the historic moment the three can always look back on, with Moore at a loss to describe just what the week in PyeongChang means to him.
“I’m overwhelmed, this is a whole new experience for myself and it’s different to all the other sports around,” he said.
“I’m still lost in the moment, I hope to take a lot of knowledge from the performance side with me as I hope to go into coaching and continue my racing as far as I can.”
Pick said: “I’ll definitely go again for sure. I’m glad we’ve shown Britain we can do this I’m just sad we couldn’t do better.
“I’ll get over it. I’m hard on myself but I set myself a challenge. You’re told you can’t do certain things because of your injury and I want to prove them wrong.
Day seven results: Men’s banked slalom, SB-UL – Ben Moore – seventh (54.33), James Barnes-Miller – tenth (58.23)
Men’s banked slalom, SB-LL2 – Owen Pick – ninth (52.81)
Pick in action
Smiling Scott revels in the Nordic experience
There’s not much that could ruin the mood for Scott Meenagh after he put in a display that bodes well for the future in the men’s 15km biathlon sitting at PyeongChang 2018.
He found his groove early at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre shooting clean on his first two trips to the range and sitting within the top ten heading into the midpoint of the race.
With windy conditions to contend with, Meenagh picked up three penalties on his third prone stage and another two on his final shoot.
That set the Scot back and he eventually crossed in a time of 58:58.1 to finish 14th – gold going to Germany’s Martin Fleig while USA’s Daniel Cnossen took silver and Canada’s Colin Cameron snatched bronze.
Only one race remains for Meenagh as he gets set to bring the curtain down on his first Paralympic Games in the men’s 7.5km cross-country on Saturday, becoming only the 3rd ParalympicsGB athlete of all time to compete in six events at a single Games.
He said: “We’ve seen a glimpse of what can be today and it’s awesome.That’s a sight of what can be possible.
“These Games have taught me lots of lessons but they have also shown me a glimpse of the level we can be at and if we get it right on the day. We are no worse than any of these guys out here.”
Day seven result: Men’s biathlon, 15km sitting – Scott Meenagh – 14th (58:58.1)
Day eight preview: 12.40 (03:40 UK Time) 7.5km cross-country
Meenagh set to go in event number six
Whitley eyeing one last race
James Whitley’s Sochi experience has carried through to PyeongChang but the men’s standing alpine skier is far from done just yet at his second Games.
Aged just 20, time is certainly in his favour and he’ll be looking to head into the next four years with a strong performance under his belt, rounding off in Saturday’s slalom.
“The slalom is my favourite event, I love the intensity of it and it’s the last event of the Games so you’ve got nothing to lose – you can go out there and leave everything on the hill,” he said.
“There’s nothing too complicated with the hill, you can really charge it and make the most of the speed that you’ve been able to get from it.
“There are lots of really quick guys in my category – hopefully I can give them a good challenge.”
Day eight preview: 10:30 (01:30 UK time) Men’s slalom, standing – James Whitley
Whitley rounds a slalom gate
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History making snowboard team make their Paralympic bow
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