Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen Kehoe Winter Paralympics 2018

Visually-impaired Alpine skier Menna Fitzpatrick and her forces guide Jennifer Kehoe have taken silver in the super combined event at the Winter Paralympics.

It takes their medal tally to two, after they claimed bronze in the super-G in Pyeongchang on the weekend.

Fitzpatrick (above right) said: "I need to take a deep breath! It feels absolutely amazing. I'm over the moon.

"The communication was there, we had a really good warm-up, the sun was shining – everything came together and it's a fabulous day."

Royal Engineers officer Kehoe (above left) added: "Our big thing is going out there and enjoying it and in this race we can say we've done that.

"We were confident. We went through a really good routine to get our frame of mind in the right place and we treated that last slalom as if it was a training run.

"It was about putting in a good performance and not worrying about anyone else, that takes the pressure off and meant that we were able to focus on just skiing well.

"We've worked a lifetime for this. You dream of having a gold medal and it does go to your mind but we're not thinking about that right now."

ParalympicsGB teammate Millie Knight took fourth place in the super combined, which incorporates both super-G and slalom skiing, guided by Royal Navy submariner Brett Wild.

 

They did, however, take silver medals in the downhill and super-G events over the weekend.

Knight said: "It's fantastic to have the two medals under our belt. It's already more than what we wanted but we don't exactly want to be stopping there.

"We wanted to get a medal in this one but we didn't - it's tough coming fourth."

The RAF's Gary Smith guided Kelly Gallagher to seventh in the super combined and eighth in the super-G. He said:

"We'll take the positives. For us this was the first time on this hill and a lot of people were here last year... We know where we can improve."

Former paratrooper Scott Meenagh has taken 13th place in the 12.5km biathlon with a time of 54:52.9, meanwhile - five places better than his finish in the 7.5km biathlon.

 

He also took 17th place in the 15km cross-country skiing and will compete in three more events this week.

The 28-year-old, who lost his legs after stepping on an explosive while serving in Afghanistan seven years ago, said of his 13th-place finish:

"You've just got to keep working until you cross that line because you get nothing for free out there today. I am pretty happy with the way I committed myself out there.

"I've raced a lot this week so I'm pretty fatigued but I'm happy with how I did.

"In the grand scheme of things it wasn't good enough but considering the conditions out there today I can take that. But you can't out-ski bad shooting.

"We're on a journey though and we're pretty early down that road and I'm really proud of where we have come so far.

"We came here to be in every single race. We came here for exposure to the Paralympic Games, to race tired and to know what it's like to perform.

"We're going to make mistakes and then we'll learn from them. We are on a very tight trajectory in terms of the way we learn as athletes."

"This sport is nails. And we need to put the hard yards in now to be successful in the future. It's been incredible and the quality of racing has been something else.

"I'm amazed how much of a lift there is between a World Cup and a Paralympic Games. Every single day the guys turn out with their A-game so you are fighting for every single place."

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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