16 March 2018
PyeongChang 2018: Meenagh and Whitley bow out with impressive performances
Meenagh on cloud nine
Scott Meenagh brought the curtain down on his maiden Paralympic Winter Games but not before pulling one more heroic effort out of the bag in PyeongChang.
The Para Nordic skier who declared he was representing not only himself and ParalympicsGB but also the sport as a whole in South Korea, duly delivering on his promise at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre.
Six gruelling races have come his way this week but Meenagh showed he still had one last burst in the tank, coming 14th in the men’s sitting 7.5km cross country.
Crossing the line and collapsing onto the snow symbolised everything the 28-year-old had thrown into this week.
“I’m buzzing, over the moon, I’m sad that was the last one but I couldn’t be happier with that result, I felt like I gave it 100 per cent, a really nice, honest account of myself,” he said of his sixth race in just eight days.
“That was everything I had to give, I left it all out there and that was all I could ask for of myself coming into this Paralympic Games.
“Just look at the size of that field and the calibre of athlete that’s in it, to be up in the rankings this late in the week is something that’s extremely pleasing, long may that continue.
“It’s going to take me a while to come down from cloud nine – if you gave me a couple days of rest then I’d be wanting to do this all over again.”
Day eight results: Men’s cross country, 7.5km sitting – Scott Meenagh - 14th (25:17.5)
Meenagh's schedule included six races in eight days
Top ten finale for Whitley
James Whitley arrived in PyeongChang as a slalom lover and will leave feeling much the same way after securing his second top ten finish of the Games.
Opening with a downhill tenth a week ago, a repeat performance on Saturday nicely book-ends what’s been a consistent performance throughout for the 20-year-old, with his two slalom runs totalling 1:44.41.
Four years ago he was a youngster on the team, just 16-years-old and gaining crucial experience in Sochi.
But with his second Games and all five races now completed, Whitley is certain that experience helped him in PyeongChang.
He said: “I’m really pleased I would have loved to have gone a bit deeper in the top ten but overall I am really happy to come out and have finished all five races and had some good results in the process so the hard work has paid off.
“I think these Games show where I can improve and what I need to do going forward in training looking ahead to Beijing 2022.
“I’ve enjoyed these Games so much. Last time, although it was an amazing experience, I had to try and take it all in whereas this time I knew what to expect.
“I’ve gone into the races not nervous and confident on what my plan is and I’ve been able to do as well as I can do.”
Day eight results: Men’s slalom, standing – James Whitley – tenth (1:44.41)
Whitley rounded off with another top-ten finish
Visually impaired skiers ready for last one push
ParalympicsGB’s alpine skiers opened up the Winter Paralympic Games with a medal in the very first event– so it’s fitting they’re the ones to bring PyeongChang 2018 to an end.
Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Jen Kehoe were the first competitors of the entire Games more than a week ago, long putting their downhill crash behind them to take home two silvers and one bronze medal so far.
Alongside them in the slalom starting gate with be Millie Knight and Brett Wild, who secured ParalympicsGB’s first medal of the Games with visually impaired downhill silver, picking up the same honour in the super-G.
But that’s not all with Kelly Gallagher rounding off her third Winter Games in the slalom alongside Gary Smith, a pair who have improved with each race at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.
Day nine preview: 09:30 (00:30 GMT) Women’s slalom, visually impaired – Menna Fitzpatrick & Jennifer Kehoe, Millie Knight & Brett Wild, Kelly Gallagher & Gary Smith
Menna and Jen collect one of their two silver medals
24 February 2019
Meenagh and Morris save best for last at World Para Nordic Skiing Championships
16 February 2019
Morris aims to conquer snow after mastering land and sea
15 February 2019
Meenagh enjoying the company of new faces ahead of Para Nordic Worlds
11 December 2018
New era for GB Para Nordic skiing as World Cup season begins
17 March 2018
Just the beginning for Meenagh after completing Games debut
16 March 2018
Meenagh delighted after strong biathlon showing
14 March 2018
Meenagh marginally misses semis in cross-country sprint
13 March 2018
13th placed Meenagh just scratching the surface
11 March 2018