sport

Etherington withdraws from GS

Great Britain's four-time Winter Paralympic medallist Jade Etherington has withdrawn from her final event of the Games through illness.

The British Paralympic Association announced that the visually-impaired skier and her guide Caroline Powell would not bid for a fifth medal on Sunday.

Etherington has been unwell over the past 12 hours and has been under the close supervision of the ParalympicsGB chief medical officer, Dr Stuart Miller. She still felt unwell on Sunday morning, with the decision not to compete made jointly by herself, Powell and Dr Miller.

Chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: "Whilst it is extremely disappointing for Jade and Caroline that they won't be able to compete in their final race of the Games, their welfare and well-being is our primary consideration at this time.

"Jade is doing better today, but the demands of ski racing at this level mean that she would not be competing at her best and this potentially puts her safety at risk.

"Jade has had an exceptional Paralympic Games and her performances for ParalympicsGB have been outstanding. Her withdrawal from the final event in no way diminishes her fantastic achievements here in Sochi."

Etherington and Powell became the first Britons to win four medals at one Winter Paralympics this week, taking silver in the downhill, slalom and super combined and bronze in the super-G.

Team-mates Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans saw their hopes of adding to their super-G gold ended by yet another crash, though.

The pair, Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic champions, have now failed to finish three of their five events,

On this occasion Gallagher's ski came off on their first run down a course Evans described as "bumpy".

Evans said: "We have definitely won the award for the most bad luck. It's hard to swallow right now."

Gallagher added: "All the time we're told, 'You're fighters, you've got it, you've just got to keep on fighting the whole way down the course'. Well I don't know how to fight down a course with one ski on.

"We came from the World Championships (in La Molina in 2013) getting four medals out of five events (but no golds). It was easier to swallow then because I had a DNF (did not finish) in one race. It's harder to take a DNF in three events, especially when you know how good form you're in.

"We've been great at GS all season, winning nearly every race we've been in.

"The hope that you have is that what you've achieved is enough, in a month's time we don't turn round and are still smarting about how this feels, because we have won something.

"We didn't come to the Games for just one event, we came to the Games with a chance of five gold medals and we chased after every single one of those medals. We weren't lucky to win our gold medal, we worked for it, we had to go out and chase it the whole way down."