17 March 2018
Top-ten finish gives Whitley cause for optimism
With two top-ten finishes under his belt from his second Paralympic Winter Games, James Whitley is confident he will continue to improve as he targets Beijing 2022.
Whitley bowed out of the Games with a tenth-place finish in the men’s slalom race on Day Eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
A first-run time of 52.61 left him 11th but he shaved close to a second off his second run to clock a combined time of 1:44.41 and edge into the top-ten.
“It was a bit rough, the first run the conditions were really tough but I managed to bring it back again on the second run,” said Whitley.
“I made a few mistakes, it wasn’t my best slalom day but I had really good fun and I felt like I did the best that I could on the second run.
“This is always the event that I have done the best at, it’s always the most intense and most fun to do so it’s one I always look forward to.
“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.”
James Whitley has now competed at two Paralympic Winter Games
Looking to the future
Whitley made his Paralympic debut at Sochi 2014 and raced in five events at PyeongChang 2018, finishing tenth in both the slalom and downhill.
As well as those finishes he also placed 11th in both the giant slalom and super-combined and 22nd in the men’s super-G.
And, as a double Paralympian, he is confident that Beijing 2022 can see him progress further up the standings.
“I think these Games show where I can improve and what I need to do going forward in training looking ahead to Beijing 2022,” Whitley added.
“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 good as I can do.
“My plan is to take a bit of a break but to keep on training and skiing will always be a part of my life so I won’t be stopping any time soon.”
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