Vancouver 2010: GB team disappoint but still hope for medal


The British team have so far had a disappointing Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver, with no athlete yet to win a medal, despite some strong individual performances.

Visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher secured a sixth place in the slalom, as did sit-skier Anna Turney.

Gallagher then went on to take fourth place in the giant slalom, the best performance by a British visually-impaired skier since 1994.

The team’s leading skiing medal contender, sit-skier Sean Rose, secured eighth place n the slalom, but failed to win a medal in his strongest event, the downhill, where he finished seventh, although he still hoped to medal in one of his final two events.

Rose had been hoping for a downhill medal after finishing third overall in the 2010 World Cup downhill series.

Rose said he was “disappointed” by the result, and added: “I feel pretty deflated to be honest.”

But he said he was “feeling confident” heading into the final two events. “I’m looking forward to the next two races. I’m going to put the hammer down!”

The wheelchair curling team, who went into the games as strong medal contenders, lost four of their first five matches, leaving an impossible task in their bid to qualify for the semi-final medal rounds.

A convincing victory against Germany was then followed by another defeat, at the hands of Sweden. Their final two matches saw them lose to Italy but beat Japan, to finish sixth in the overall standings.

Tom Pendreigh, manager of the GB curling team, said the team lost two of the matches “by the narrowest of margins, just a few millimetres either way on the final stone would have made the difference”.

He added: “In a week-long competition you do need a bit of luck and we were unlucky in both those games.

“The biggest disappointment is the feeling that we had so much more to give and although we saw glimpses of it, we never really showed consistently what we are capable of.”

Meanwhile, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson has backed a scheme aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the British team’s training camps at the University of Bath, in the run-up to the London 2012 Paralympics.

EDF Energy, a London 2012 “sustainability partner”, will work with the university to reduce the environmental “footprint” of the camp, while also educating and influencing the behavior of ParalympicsGB athletes, coaches and officials.

18 March 2012

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