Aussies shine in Downhill training run - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies shine in Downhill training run

10/03/2006 05:53:32 AM Comments (0)

The Australian skiers posted some quality times in the downhill training run showing they are well in the hunt for medals ahead of the Turin Winter Paralympics alpine competition starting on Saturday.

If the times were translated to the actual downhill event, Victorian Cameron Rahles-Rahbula would have taken bronze in the standing class and Shannon Dallas of NSW would have taken silver in the sitting class.

Rahles-Rahbula, 22, of Melbourne, was the fastest of the six Australians competing in the standing class at the practice run with a time of 1min 22.58sec to put him third fastest of the 50 skiers behind German Gerd Schoenfelder (1:20.67) and Swiss Hans Burn (1:22.53).

Canberra's Michael Milton was sixth fastest in 1:24.76 to give Australia two top-10 efforts.

"I had a little bit of a problem off the top," Milton, 32, said.

"But it is a beautiful course and in perfect condition with the fine weather today. It's a lot different from what we remember when we trained here in Sestiere two years ago."

It was the Australians first run on the Paralympic course as yesterday's training run was cancelled because of heavy snow and wind.

Dallas, 28, is Australia's only wheelchair athlete of the 10 skiers at the Turin Paralympics and he has a current world ranking of fourth in downhill.

He displayed that today with his time of 1:22.24 down the Sestiere-Borgata hill, the same used by the Olympic downhillers a month ago, but the 2,350 metre Paralympic course is about two-thirds the length.

Dallas wasn't far behind American Tyler Walker (1:21.44) who clocked the fastest practice time today for the sitting class.

From the other four standing class Australian skiers, Toby Kane (NSW) was 17th, Nick Watts (NSW) was 23rd, Dean Calabrese (NSW) was 44th while fellow NSW pair of Scott Adams and Marty Mayberry were disqualified for missing a gate.

The Australians have one last practice run before the Downhill in men's standing class begins on Saturday after Friday night's opening ceremony.

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