Paralympic medal hopes crash in Turin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Paralympic medal hopes crash in Turin

13/03/2006 06:04:21 AM Comments (0)

After the highs of opening day with a silver medal for Australia at the Turin Winter Paralympics came the low of day two, especially for Shannon Dallas in the downhill for sit-skiers.

Dallas, 28, had been a consistent top-five finisher in European events leading into the Paralympics.

During official downhill training for wheelchair athletes here in Sestriere-Borgata, he had a second and fourth fastest overall to put himself in the hunt for medals.

But during his first race at his first Paralympics, Dallas crashed near the top of the 2,325-metre course, broke one of the outrigger skis he uses for balance and could not get back in the race.

"It was rock hard up there. I caught an edge, drifted over and tried to right it but fell," a forlorn Dallas said.

"I'm crushed, absolutely crushed. After all those good training runs, everything felt like it was going to happen for me."

Gold went to Kevin Bramble of the USA in 1m 21.03s, who crashed in the first training run when Dallas took second place.

Silver went to fellow American Christopher Devlin-Young while Frenchman s Denis Barbet took bronze.

Brighter news came just five kilometres down the road where Australia's only Nordic skier, James Millar, took on the might of the experienced Europeans in the men's standing class 5km cross-country.

Millar, an arm amputee just 20-years-old, was hoping for a top-25 finish and didn't disappoint completing the two 2.5km loops in 14m 12.2s, or just 1:36 behind gold medallist Steve Cook (USA).

Siarhei Silchanka of Belarus took silver and German Thomas Oelsner the bronze.

"I'm stoked. These guys have got years on me in experience and age and strength but this is my favourite event and this result will spur me on," Millar said.

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