Bourne’s partially-sighted skier Jade Etherington has beaten the terrible weather conditions to finish in third at the half way stage of the Super Combined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
Etherington, 23, and her guide Caroline Powell were expected to run in the Super Combined at the Rosa Kuhtor Alpine Centre at 6am this morning UK time (Tuesday), but thick fog and rain resulted in the event being postponed to 10am.
The Super Combined consists of a single run of Slalom and a Super-G run. The winner is the skier with the fastest aggregate time across the two disciplines.
Normally the Super-G, which is the speed element of the race, is run first but because of the snow and weather conditions the order of events were reversed and the Super-G run has now been postponed and will be run on Friday.
When the skiers did take to the slopes in the Slalom conditions were still incredibly tough, with low visibility despite flood lights being turned on and icey slush snow conditions caused by the rain falling.
First out the gate was the defending Olympic champion Slovakia’s Henrieta Karkasova who put down a time of 59.55.
Aleksandra Frantceva was next to tackle the course and looked to be on her way to posting a leading time in the Slalom but the Russian missed the final gate to be disqualified from the event.
Next out was yesterday’s gold medal hero Kelly Gallagher, but midway down the 200m drop the British skier from Northern Ireland fell and did not finish the race.
Australia’s Melissa Perrine put in a solid run to come second before a cautious Danelle Umstead from the United States put in a slow but safe run to come last.
Last out the gate of the six runners was former Deepings School pupil Jade Etherington who showed no fear to push the boundaries and get into a good rhythm to successful traverse the 52 gates and put down a time of 1:01.80, which was good enough for a third place with the disqualification of Frantceva.
Etherington and Powell won silver in the Downhill on Saturday and bronze in the Super-G yesterday and are aiming for a third medal in the event many consider to define the best overall skier because it combines both the speed and skill elements of alpine racing.