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Kimberly Joines wins silver in Paralympic slalom

03/12/2014 05:49 EDT | Updated 05/12/2014 05:59 EDT
Kimberly Joines won Canada’s eighth medal of the Paralympics, taking silver in the women’s sitting slalom in Sochi on Wednesday.

Joines, of Rossland, B.C., finished her two runs in a combined time of 2 minutes, 15.16 seconds, well ahead of bronze-medallist Laurie Stephens of the United States, who was 3.29 seconds behind Joines. Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster won gold in the event, 0.81 seconds ahead of the Canadian.

The entire field had to deal with possibly the worst conditions yet at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. Driving wet snow greeted the competitors on Day 5, along with temperatures that hovered around the 0 C mark, which added up to a course that was extremely rutted and unpredictable. All anyone could do to was try to stay on their skis and hope for the best.

Joines did well to even finish her first run, as she went completely sideways after passing through a gate early on. But she recovered and still managed to post the third-best time of the first of two slalom runs.

She was bumped up to second when German Anna Schaffelhuber, already the downhill and super-G Paralympic champion, was disqualified before the second run. Schaffelhuber led the field by a wide margin after the first phase of the competition.

In Joines’ second run she caught a rut in the top half of the course and nearly lost control, before recovering to post the best time of the phase.

Battling back from an injury that ruled her out of the Vancouver Paralympics, the 33-year-old Joines won four medals at the world championships in 2013, including bronze in the slalom. 

Marie Bochet's drive for 5 dashed

In the standing category, Marie Bochet had her hopes for sweeping the alpine disciplines dashed when she was disqualified on her first run. She was trying to match a feat accomplished by Canada’s Lauren Woolstencroft in 2010.

Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss was the runaway winner, finishing 6.85 seconds ahead of second-place Russian Inga Medvedev. Petra Smarzova of Slovakia took the bronze.

Alexandra Starker of Calgary was the top Canadian in the discipline, finishing in sixth. Erin Latimer of Toronto was eighth, while Calgary’s Alana Ramsay was ninth.

Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia won gold in the women’s visually impaired category, finishing 0.65 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Jade Etherington. Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia won bronze. 

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