sport

Slalom duo on course for gold

Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell were halfway to Great Britain's second Winter Paralympics gold medal after the opening run of the slalom.

The visually-impaired skier and her guide topped the leaderboard by 0.55 seconds from Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva.

The pair swept down the course, as snow fell for the first time during the Games at a floodlit Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, in one minute 00.87 seconds.

It left them in a strong position to claim their third medal in Sochi, with a silver and bronze already in the bag. Another is all but guaranteed in the super combined.

In contrast, two days after their historic gold in the super-G, luck again deserted Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans as they crashed out four gates from the finish, having looked well-placed to knock their team-mates off the top the standings.

They suffered the same fate on Tuesday in the slalom stage of the super combined.

Millie Knight, the 15-year-old Games debutant and Britain's youngest ever Winter Paralympian, punched the air with delight as she completed the course with guide Rachael Ferrier, their time of 1min 09.87secs placing them sixth going into the second and final run.

Gallagher and Evans saw their hopes ended after the former caught a rut and lost a ski.

"I can only have two adjectives, frustrating and upset," she said.

The pair have now had three days of disappointment either side of their golden moment in the super-G, which came after they finished last in the downhill.

"Standard 'Charelly' moment," said Evans, referring to their nickname.

"We had our luck with our gold, but we have definitely had our three bad lucks so hopefully it has come in threes and it's done now.

"I have more anger than emotion. With the downhill I was completely gutted and I didn't want it to go that way.

"This was going well and it is more difficult to deal with."

The women's competition was brought forward from Friday due to the postponements in Tuesday's programme, Evans admitting they were "gutted" by the change as she had been desperate for a break.

But they now have three days to rest before the giant slalom, their favourite event, on Sunday.

"We have worked hard on technical skiing so hopefully that (event) will fall in our favour," said Evans, who added the pair have not had "any chance to enjoy" their gold medal success.

In the sitting event Anna Turney was sixth after her first run.