Winter paralympics: Etherington secures silver

JADE Etherington believes she is skiing well enough to leave Russia as a Winter Paralympic champion after she and guide Caroline Powell secured their third and Great Britain’s fourth medal.
GB's Jade Etherington celebrates winning Silver in the Women's Slalom - Visually Impaired. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images.GB's Jade Etherington celebrates winning Silver in the Women's Slalom - Visually Impaired. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images.
GB's Jade Etherington celebrates winning Silver in the Women's Slalom - Visually Impaired. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images.

The 23-year-old had led after the first run of the women’s individual slalom by 0.55 seconds from Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva, while fellow Brits Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans crashed out.

Gallagher and Evans had won Britain’s first ever Winter Paralympic gold in the super-G on Monday but a fantastic second run from Frantceva denied Etherington and Powell as the Russian took victory by 0.65.

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But the Brits’ latest success adds to the previous silver medal they won on day one of the Games in the downhill and the bronze medal from the super-G discipline behind Gallagher and Evans.

Etherington was gutted to miss out on gold initially, bursting into tears straight after the race, but admits the consistency of her performances bodes well for their remaining two events.

“We were aiming for the gold and we didn’t get it. We were close on the times and we fought all the way,” she said.

“We’ve never been that far back in the pack for the second run and I think that definitely might have affected us, with different snow.

“We put down a good run. If you look back, Frantceva beat us by three seconds on that hill the day before and we were close on the time. We fought all the way. I knew I could ski well and I was really excited and that normally means I have a good performance. Anything can happen in ski racing but especially in slalom.

“We have medalled in every event. I am quite consistent, quite boring, and that just proves how well we ski ­together.

“I know we can work really well together, I know we can do it. I need to keep that mentality that I can do it.

“Just actually getting the medal after all these years is amazing and I’m really proud of both of us for working hard.”

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Etherington is set to add to Britain’s medal haul in Sochi on Friday as her and Powell need just complete the super-G course to be on the super combined podium.

The pair lie second after the slalom element, just over three seconds behin,d Frantceva, and with USA’s Danelle Umstead the only other competitor remaining, a medal will be theirs if they can get across the finish line.

Meanwhile at the wheelchair curling Britain suffered a setback in their quest to seal a play-off spot as they were humbled 11-2 by host nation Russia.

Aileen Neilson’s rink were 6-2 behind heading into the seventh end but a five from the Russians in the seventh forced Britain to concede the last – their third defeat from seven.

They now play their final two round-robin games – against the USA and China today – knowing they may need two victories to secure their progression.

But skip Neilson, competing at her second Winter Paralympics, admits they will need to play considerably better if they want to be involved in the medal matches.

“It was a tough game. Russia played extremely well and we just weren’t taking the shots,” said Neilson.

“We have to come out and we have to put on our best performance if we want to reach the play-offs, it’s as simple as that.”

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• Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit: