Kelly on form for GB's first Winter gold

Published Thursday, 23 January 2014
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A Northern Ireland contender for GB's first Winter Paralympic gold medal is headlining a 10-strong team of alpine skiers selected for the Sochi Games on Thursday.

Kelly on form for GB's first Winter gold
Kelly Gallagher competes at the Winter Games in Christchurch, in August 2011. (© Getty)

Visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher, with guide Charlotte Evans, is expected to battle it out for major honours in Russia in March as is fellow competitor Jade Etherington, guided by Caroline Powell.

The British Paralympic Association also named a former serviceman injured by a suicide bomb in Iraq and a 15-year-old schoolgirl, one of three teenagers, in their team for the Games.

The 10 skiers selected, including three competition partners, complete the line-up for Sochi, with a five-strong wheelchair curling team already selected.

ParalympicsGB chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: "I am confident that I will be leading a team in Sochi with some of the best prepared athletes that have ever represented ParalympicsGB at a Winter Games, but we will not take anything for granted.

"We know that the margins will be small and that we cannot underestimate how others will perform on the day. What is not in doubt, however, is the skill, determination and commitment of our athletes, who have shown that they can thrive under pressure and compete up there against the world's best."

Gallagher finished fourth in the Giant Slalom four years ago in Vancouver - the best finish for a British visually-impaired skier since 1994,

She is on course to improve on that performance this time around.

She and Evans have already picked up a number of World Cup medals this year, including three golds and a silver at the recent World Cup in Panorama in Canada.

Gallagher said: "Charlotte and I have been working together for four seasons now and we have been putting 100 per cent in every day both on and off the hill. Being named for the team for Sochi is another step on our amazing journey with each other."

Evans said: "I am so excited to be going to my first Games, it will be a whole new experience for me."

The pair will face stiff competition on the slopes from team-mates Etherington and Powell, who have also won World Cup medals this winter.

The Games begin on 7 March and UK Sport have set a target of at least two medals for the British team.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (371 days ago):
Wish Kelly every success in Russia.
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