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Germany Scoops Pool At 100% Pure NZ Winter Games Adaptive Giant Slalom

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Germany Scoops Pool At 100% Pure NZ Winter Games Adaptive Giant Slalom

Germany made its mark in the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games adaptive giant slalom at Coronet Peak today, claiming three gold medals and a silver in the high calibre international race, while New Zealand's Adam Hall won bronze.

The race attracted 37 athletes from Germany, USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan, Serbia, Switzerland, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia.

IPC Race Director Erik Petersen of the USA said it was fantastic to get a race completed today, after the adaptive Super G had to be cancelled, due to weather conditions earlier in the week.

"It was a crack race thanks to Coronet Peak's race department who prepared a brilliant course for the athletes. It was an awesome, fair and safe event and gave the athletes the opportunity to show exactly what adaptive skiing is all about."

Petersen said the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games had drawn a top quality field with the best ranked men in the standing category competing.

"These guys are the best in the world and it was exciting to see them in action."

The giant slalom was held on The Hurdle finishing in Eighth Basin and the windy, often sleety conditions did not deter athletes who clocked good times particularly in the second run.

The men's standing category was won by world number one giant slalom exponent Gerard Schoenfelder of Germany,who showed his outstanding form to conclusively win both runs and clock a combined time of 1.47.41. He headed off Thomas Pfyl of Switzerland who completed the race in 1.50.71 just edging out top ranked Kiwi 21-year-old Adam Hall of Wanaka who finished in 1.50.73 to take third place.

Hall, who was recently named Snow Sports New Zealand Athlete of the Year, was happy with his performance in the tough international field. "I am obviously very pleased with the result and it was great to achieve it in front of a home crowd."

Hall's main discipline is slalom and he is chasing a podium finish in the 100% Pure New Zealand slalom tomorrow (August 29).

Germany's high profile World Cup skier Martin Braxenthaler took out the men's sitting category in 1.52.55 beating his team mate Thomas Nolte who won silver in 1.55.95. American Carl Burnett, who was fifth in downhill at the 2006 Paralympics, was third with a time of 1.56.32.

New Zealand's Peter Williams of Wanaka finished sixth in the men's sitting division which keeps him in contention for a spot in the New Zealand Paralympic team for Vancouver in 2010.

The women's visually impaired section was won by Kelly Gallagher of Northern Island who made her debut today for the British Disabled Ski Team. She was excited about her first race which she won with her guide Claire Robb in 2.16.69.

"It was great although I was a bit tentative in the first run. The second was much better because I had more idea of what the course was like."

Second place in the visually impaired went to Caitlin Sarubbi of the United States and her guide Gwynn Watkins in 2.22.19.

Andrea Rothfuss of Germany, ranked second in World Cup standings, had a clear win in the women's standing division and said she is looking ahead to competing at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.

"It has been good to ski in this race at Coronet Peak and get some racing underway in preparation for the next season."

Rothfuss clocked 2.00.93 ahead of Australian Emily Jansen in 2.18.70. Jansen was the first Australian to compete at a Paralympics when she was selected for Torino in 2006.

The women's sitting category was won by Alana Nichols of USA who is the US National Super G and Downhill champion. She had a combined time of 2.03.94 while Anna Turney of Great Britain who is ranked 18th in the world in adaptive giant slalom recorded 2.14.84.

A feature of the race was the entry of two members from the recently formed British Combined Services Disabled Team.

Team captain Martin Hewitt said it was a fantastic experience. "This was the first race I have entered and it was the best day of my life."

The 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Adaptive slalom will be held tomorrow (August 29) at Coronet Peak.

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