Winter Paralympics: Britons Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen Kehoe win slalom gold

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Winter Paralympics on the BBC
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-18 March Time in Pyeongchang: GMT +9
Coverage: Follow on Radio 5 live and via the BBC Sport website. Television coverage on Channel 4.

Britain's Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Jen Kehoe won gold in the women's visually-impaired slalom at the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang.

The pair, who had already won two silvers and a bronze in South Korea, beat Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova and Natalia Subrtova by 0.66 seconds.

It is GB's first gold of these Games and only their second Winter Paralympic gold.

"We wanted to show what we are capable of," Fitzpatrick told BBC Sport.

"I am so proud of what we did out there."

Millie Knight and Brett Wild won bronze for GB to add to their two silvers in the downhill and super-G.

Kelly Gallagher, who won Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold in Sochi four years ago with Charlotte Evans, was sixth with new guide Gary Smith.

It means the ParalympicsGB team meet their UK Sport target of six to 12 medals with the ambition of seven.

Welsh skier Fitzpatrick, 19, and army officer Kehoe, 34, trailed Farkasova and Subrtova, who were chasing their fifth gold medals of the Games, by 0.66 seconds after the first run.

The penultimate pairing to go out in the second run, the GB pair stormed down the course at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre to go top of the leaderboard but had an anxious wait to see what their Slovak rivals could do.

But Farkasova and Subrtova were unable to cope with the pressure and could only clock the third fastest time of the second run, leading to wild celebrations for the British supporters.

It also saw Fitzpatrick and Kehoe become Britain's most successful-ever Winter Paralympians.

"I felt that we skied really well. We went for it and as soon Jen said go for it, we flew down that last bit," Fitzpatrick said.

Kehoe added: "We were trying to keep it together on the medal podium because it was hugely emotional. It's unbelievable to win a gold medal and it is beyond our wildest dreams."

Fitzpatrick, who started skiing aged five on a family holiday, was born with congenital retinal folds which means she has no vision in her left eye and limited vision in her right eye.

She and Kehoe, who started working together in 2015, communicate on the slopes via bluetooth headsets like most of their rivals, while Kehoe wears brightly coloured clothing.

They had a nightmare start to their Paralympic campaign when the teenager crashed out early on in their opening downhill event.

However, they recovered superbly to finish third in the super-G before runners-up spot in both the super combined and giant slalom.

"After the downhill it was emotional in a sad way because we had done really well in it all season," Fitzpatrick said.

"We were really gutted but we then worked really hard to dust ourselves off. All the emotions got put aside and we just had a job to do."

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