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Britain takes first ever Paralympic gold


Sochi, March 10 (IANS) Britain struck their first ever gold medal at the Winter Paralympics here Monday as Kelly Gallagher took the women's alpine visually-impaired super G title.

Hosts Russia still dominated the medal table with two more golds as Rushan Minnegulov won the men's 20 km classic standing cross country event in 50 minutes and 55.1 seconds. Countrywoman Elena Remizova, guided by Natalia Yakimova, won the 15 km visually-impaired cross-country trek in 49 minutes, 10.2 seconds, reports Xinhua.

The Briton, guided by Charlotte Evans, won her event in one minute, 28.72 seconds, while 0.22 of a second adrift for second place was Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva, guided by Pavel Zabotin.

"I had such a bad day on downhill. Today I just wanted to ski. We worked really hard but it means a lot to us to have just skied," said the gold medallist, who finished sixth in the women's visually-impaired downhill Sunday.

Though Monday was a day-off for ice sledge hockey players, they kept themselves busy in calculating the odds of making it to the semi-finals to join title-chasing favourites Canada and the United States.

Most of all other teams hoping to enter the semifinals may also depend on other team's floppy performance Wednesday.

South Korea will depend on a Russian defeat to the United States to keep hopes alive in Group B while Russia also need to depend on South Korea's loss to Italy to secure the semifinal berth.

Norway and Sweden, both likely to get the second semifinal spot from Group A, had more complicated calculation to figure out. The Norwegians needed Canada to grab just one point from the Czech Republic Wednesday whereas Sweden can still hope to qualify for the semifinals with a win and a Czech loss in regulation time to Canada.

On snow courses, other paralympic competitors also have their calculation and expectation.

Cross-country skier Tatyana McFadden from the United States is expecting to compete Wednesday with her biological mother and next-of-kins from Russia to join her American adoption mother Deborah McFadden along the course-side.

Tatyana was adopted from Russia when she was six and she has since become the only paralympic athlete to have so far won four marathon races in a year and six titles from a single World Championship.

Photo Credit: paralympics

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