12 March 2018

PyeongChang 2018: Snowboarders make history while curlers defeat reigning champs

Snowboarders make their ParalympicsGB bow

It was an historic day for ParalympicsGB at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre as Para Snowboard featured British riders at a Paralympic Games for the very first time.

The honour fell to James Barnes-Miler when he launched out of the gates on his first qualification run at the Para snowboard cross competition on Monday.

That run cemented his place in Great British sporting history but Barnes-Miller was so focused on competition he wasn’t aware of its significance until he checked his phone at the bottom of the slope.

“I didn’t realise I was the first,” he said. “It didn’t even cross my mind until ParalympicsGB posted it on Instagram and I checked my phone after.

History maker: Barnes-Miller in action

“It’s massive being here - It’s mega. I’m a Paralympian now! Three years ago I would have laughed at you if you’d told me I was going to the Paralympics.”

While Barnes-Miller was the first he was closely followed by teammates Ben Moore and Owen Pick. On a day of tough racing for the Para snowboarders Moore and Pick were beaten in the heats and Barnes-Miller eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

Pick said: “I didn’t snowboard as well as I know I can snowboard in that last run and that’s what upsets me most. It’s not the position or the result. It’s the fact that I know I can do better and I didn’t.”

With the banked slalom competition still to come for all three riders there is still another opportunity for them to race again.

Moore said: “I look forward to the banked slalom now so fingers crossed. I always manage to pull something out of the bag for that so hopefully I can do it again.”

Day three results: (SB-UL) James Barnes-Miller 7th place (Quarter-Finals beaten by Australia’s Simon Patmore). Ben Moore, 10th place (last 16, beaten by Italy’s Paolo Priolo).

Owen Pick, (SB-LL2) 9th place (last 16, beaten by Argentina’s Carlos Javier Codina Thomatis).

GB defeat reigning Paralympic Champions

The wheelchair curling team were ruthlessly efficient, winning both their matches at the Gangneun Curling Centre to move up the standings in the Round Robin competition.

Aileen Neilson and her team-mates secured an emphatic 8-1 victory over reigning Paralympic champions Canada in the evening match.

During an assured display, they were rarely troubled by the Canadian team and moved in to a 5-0 lead before sealing a famous victory scoring three in the seventh end.

Focussed: Aileen Neilson

Hugh Nibloe,Vice Skip, said: “We’ve beaten the biggest curling nation in the world. But there are another five teams out there who have all won medals so we’ve got tough games coming up.

“If we play at that level they are going to have to match it to even get close to us. We’re shooting really well.”

The first match of the day was against a Swedish team who had lost all three of their round robin matches.

The ParalympicsGB team won the opening five ends to race in to a 6-0 lead and they wrapped up a routine victory 6-1 after just seven ends.

The team have now won four and lost one of their five matches and are in joint second place in the league. The top four make it through to the semi-finals.

The Wheelchair curlers will be looking to maintain their momentum towards the semi-finals when the play Slovakia and NPA (Neutral Paralympic Athletes).

Day three results: Great Britain 6-1 Sweden, Great Britain 8-1 Canada

Day four: 14:35 (05:35 UK time) Great Britain v Slovakia - Aileen Neilson, Angie Malone, Bob McPherson, Hugh Nibloe, Gregor Ewan

19:35 (10:35 UK time) Great Britain v NPA (Neutral Paralympic Athletes) - Aileen Neilson, Angie Malone, Bob McPherson, Hugh Nibloe, Gregor Ewan

Para alpine skiers back in the hunt for medals

After one day of rest, training and cheering on their ParalympicsGB teammates, the alpine skiers are back in action on Tuesday with a double dose of competition.

The Jeongseon Alpine Centre will play host to the super combined, with Millie Knight and Brett Wild looking to see if they can win their third medal at the Games

That will begin with the super-G, the source of their second silver medal and the event which Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe – also competing on day four – took bronze. Kelly Gallagher and Gary Smith complete the British interest.

They will then all go on to race in the super combined slalom with the two times linked to determine who is on the podium.

The racing day is exactly the same for James Whitley too, an event where he will look to build on the tenth-place finish he secured in the downhill on day one.

Day four: 09:30-13:00 (00:30-04:00 UK time) Alpine Skiing - men’s and women’s super-combined super-G – Millie Knight and Brett Wild, Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe, Kelly Gallagher and Gary Smith, James Whitley

15:00-17:00 (06:00-08:00 UK time) Alpine Skiing - men’s and women’s super-combined slalom - Millie Knight and Brett Wild, Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe, Kelly Gallagher and Gary Smith, James Whitley

Wild Knight: Ready to go again

Scott ready for latest biathlon buzz

After a deserved day of rest, Scott Meenagh is back in action in the Para Nordic skiing

The 28-year-old has already revelled in his historic moment, becoming the first ParalympicsGB skier to compete in the event in 20 years and day four will see him race in the 12.5km Biathlon.

Day four: 10:00-12:25 (01:00-03:25 UK time) Biathlon - men’s 12.5km sitting - Scott Meenagh

Back in action

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