Owen Pick 2018 Winter Paralympics
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'I'll Be Back': Disappointment For UK Veteran Snowboarder In Debut Paralympics

Army veteran snowboarder Owen Pick has vowed not to give up on his Paralympic dream after failing to medal in his debut Games in Pyeongchang...

Owen Pick 2018 Winter Paralympics

Army veteran snowboarder Owen Pick has vowed not to give up on his Paralympic dream after failing to medal in his debut Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Pick's opening time of 52.81 left him seventh in the banked slalom event but a fall on his second run left him with it all to do and a final time of 53.26 was not enough to trouble the top of the table.

The pioneering team of Pick, James Barnes-Miller and Ben Moore will be remembered as the first to ever represent Britain in snowboarding at the Paralympic Games.

 

However, it wasn't to be for the trio, with Moore and Barnes-Miller finishing seventh and 10th respectively in the SB-UL class, while Pick was ninth in the SB-LL2.

The Royal Anglian Regiment veteran, who was chosen to carry the GB flag, 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.

"I haven't got a choice whether I continue. I can't leave it. I'm one of those people who sets themselves a goal and I haven't achieved that goal. I’ll be back."

After missing out on the podium places in snowboard cross earlier this week, the trio's chance to secure a medal came down to three runs in the banked slalom.

Gold ultimately went to Japan's Gurimu Narita, while USA's Evan Strong won silver and Finland's Matti Suur-Hamari took bronze, however.

There's not much that could ruin the mood for former paratrooper Scott Meenagh, however.

He put in a display that bodes well for the future in the men's 15km biathlon sitting, in his penultimate race of competition.

 

Meenagh found his groove early at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre, shooting clean on his first two trips to the range and sitting within the top 10 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, with gold going to Germany's Martin Fleig, while the USA's Daniel Cnossen took silver and Canada's Colin Cameron snatched bronze. Meenagh said:

"You couldn't slap the smile off my face today, I'm really happy. It was on after two shoots, I really thought I was in a strong position."

"It was great. I know what I've got wrong today and I'm going to go and work on it but I'm really happy with that.

"I'm extremely inspired and I feel that tomorrow if I hit it with the same intent and I can push a little bit harder then there is no reason why I can't be up there.

"I feel like I skied really well and I was in a really nice place for the first couple of shoots. The third and fourth shoots caught me out a little.

"I can't afford to not shoot well in this field because these guys are just incredible."

After five tough days at the Biathlon Centre 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.

But there is no doubt in Meenagh's mind that this is the first step on a journey and certainly not the final destination. He added:

"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.

"We know what we are here to do and we have a lot of work to do in the next four years but I've seen a lot of positives here."

ParalympicsGB is being represented in a historic five sports at the current Games.

UK athletes are taking part in Alpine skiing, snowboarding, wheelchair curling and the two disciplines of Nordic skiing: cross country and biathlon.

Britain's previous highest number of Winter Paralympic sports was four, in 1994 and 1998.

Cover image courtesy of ParalympicsGB via Flickr.

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