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Etherington goes to close to golden run

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

By GUY ASPIN

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WINTER PARALYMPICS

Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell gave their Russian hosts an almighty scare as a third Sochi silver signalled another historic day for Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics.

Visually-impaired skier Etherington and guide Powell produced the race of their life to become the first Britons to win four medals at one Winter Games.

A gutsy, all-or-nothing super-G run took them to within a whisker of a maiden gold only for home favourite Aleksandra Frantceva to pip them to the super combined title.

Etherington said: "We haven't skied as well as that ever, it was one of our best runs and we pulled back a couple of seconds.

"It was tough, it hurt all the way down. We are really annoyed not to get the gold and it was so close again to Frantceva (who beat the pair to the slalom crown), but we got a medal and we will continue fighting.

"It is crazy (to win four medals), especially as this is my first ever Paralympics and we have had such a bumpy season.2

The duo were all but guaranteed a top-three place going into yesterday's run. With only three pairs left in the competition following the opening slalom segment on Tuesday, they lay second and knew they only had to finish to claim a medal.

The pair were brave enough to risk throwing it away by going for gold, but in the end the 3.12 seconds they had to make up on Frantceva proved too tough an ask. It was a close call, though, with the Russia taking the title by 0.63secs.

Etherington, 23, and Powell, 19, finished in a combined time of 2:28.38, well clear of American bronze medal winner Danelle Umstead.

Their super-G run of 1:26.58 was 2.49s quicker than Frantceva's. It was also 2.14 faster than team-mates Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans had gone in winning gold in that event on Monday, albeit in different conditions.

All from a pair who were initially not even scheduled to compete in the super combined before a late call to enter.

This silver followed other second-placed finishes in the slalom and the downhill events and bronze in the super-G, making them Britain's most decorated female Winter Paralympians ever.

It also earned Britain their fifth medal of the week.

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