Mac Marcoux won Canada’s first medal of the Paralympics by taking bronze in the men’s visually-impaired downhill competition on Saturday in Sochi at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.
Marcoux, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., finished in a time of one minute, 23.02 seconds, just ahead of Jakub Krako of Slovakia, who was a little over three tenths behind.
Just 16 years old, Marcoux is the youngest member of Canada’s 2014 Paralympic team. Marcoux is normally guided on the course by his brother, BJ, but he had to pull out due to a back injury. Marcoux was guided by former downhill racer Robin Fémy.
Spain’s Yon Santacana Maiztegui won gold in a time of 1:21.76 , while Miroslav Haraus of Slovakia took silver in 1:22.01.
In the men’s downhill standing category, Austria’s Markus Salcher won gold in a time of 1:24.35, narrowly squeaking by Russia’s Alexey Bugaev for the title. The Russian finished only 0.06 seconds behind. Vincent Gauthier-Manuel of Franze won bronze. Neither Kirk Schornstein of Spruce Grove, Alta., nor Victoria’s Braydon Luscombe finished their runs in the competition.
Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova took the first gold medal of the Paralympics when she won the women’s downhill in the visually-impaired classification. She finished in a time of 1:31.55. Jade Etherington of Great Britain took silver, 2.73 seconds behind, while Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva won bronze.
France’s Marie Bochet won the women’s standing downhill title in 1:30.72. Russia’s Inga Medvedeva took silver, 1.47 seconds back, while Allison Jones of the United States won bronze.
Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany won gold in the women’s downhill for the sitting classification, finishing in 1:35.55, a mere 0.14 seconds ahead of Alana Nichols of the United States. Nichols’ teammate Laurie Stephens won bronze.
The men’s sitting downhill race is set to go later Saturday.