Gallagher to miss Worlds after guide suffers concussion

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Charlotte Evans (left) and Kelly Gallagher (right)
Evans and Gallagher were hoping to win Britain's first World Championship gold medal

Visually impaired Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher has opted against competing in this week's IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada.

Earlier this week her guide Charlotte Evans was ruled unfit to race after failing to overcome the concussion she suffered during a training fall.

Gallagher had been training with her coach Ross Green in the hope they could form a short-term partnership.

However, she has decided she does not feel safe without her regular guide.

Gallagher and Green did race together in a second-tier Europa Cup event in Italy this month, in order to ensure their eligibility for the Worlds in Panorama with racing due to start on Wednesday.

They were not racing at full pace, though, and with skiers travelling at speeds of up to 100km/h they were considering only competing in the slower technical events.

Gallagher - winner of Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold medal - ultimately decided it would be too much of a risk to attempt to race against the world's best skiers as an inexperienced pair.

Gallagher and Evans will return to land-based training in the spring and, rather than travelling to usual training bases in Australia and New Zealand over the summer, will instead ski at indoor snow centres around Europe.

Britain's youngest-ever Winter Paralympian, 16-year-old Millie Knight, will be Britain's leading medal prospect at the Worlds in the visually-impaired category, along with her guide Jen Kehoe, after the pair won the World Cup giant slalom title as well as the overall Europa Cup crown.