Kimberly Joines's slalom silver medal in question

Kimberly Joines's silver medal in the women's sitting slalom at the Sochi Paralympics is now in question. Whether she keeps it or drops to bronze will depend on the appeal of a disqualified German skier.

German skier, who could take 1st, appealing disqualification

Alpine skier Kimberly Joines talks about her podium on a very difficult course. 1:31

Kimberly Joines's silver medal in the women's sitting slalom is now in question, after a German skier who was disqualified in the first run is appealing that decision.

Joines, of Rossland, B.C., finished her two runs in a combined time of 2 minutes, 15.16 seconds, well ahead of bronze-medallist Laurie Stephens of the United States, who was 3.29 seconds behind Joines. Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster won gold in the event, 0.81 seconds ahead of the Canadian.

Germany's Anna Schaffelhuber, already the sitting downhill and super-G Paralympic champion, was disqualified after the first run of the race. She appealed, and was allowed to race the second run while a decision about her appeal was considered.

If her appeal is successful, her combined time will be fast enough to win gold, bumping Forster into second place and Joines down to bronze.

Her fate will be decided at a jury meeting on Thursday at 11 a.m. local time.

The entire field had to deal with possibly the worst conditions yet at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. Driving wet snow greeted the competitors on Day 5, along with temperatures that hovered around the 0 C mark, which added up to a course that was extremely rutted and unpredictable. All anyone could do to was try to stay on their skis and hope for the best.

You just have to maintain your focus and not let dips and doodles and mistakes get you down mentally- Kimberly Joines, sit-skier

"It's probably the toughest course I've ever ridden," Joines said later. "Usually in training I get the early runs before it gets all rutted. [Training in the ruts] would have come in useful because it was a lot more rutted than I'm used to.

Joines did well to even finish her first run, as she went completely sideways after passing through a gate early on. But she recovered and still managed to post the third-best time of the first of two slalom runs."There's really not much you can do," she added. "You just have to maintain your focus and not let dips and doodles and mistakes get you down mentally because it's the same track for everybody and they're probably going to have big mistakes, as well."

In Joines’ second run she caught a rut in the top half of the course and nearly lost control, before recovering to post the best time of the phase.

Battling back from an injury that ruled her out of the Vancouver Paralympics, the 33-year-old Joines won four medals at the world championships in 2013, including bronze in the slalom. 

Marie Bochet's drive for 5 dashed

In the standing category, Marie Bochet had her hopes for sweeping the alpine disciplines dashed when she was disqualified on her first run. She was trying to match a feat accomplished by Canada’s Lauren Woolstencroft in 2010.

Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss was the runaway winner, finishing 6.85 seconds ahead of second-place Russian Inga Medvedev. Petra Smarzova of Slovakia took the bronze.

Alexandra Starker of Calgary was the top Canadian in the discipline, finishing in sixth. Erin Latimer of Toronto was eighth, while Calgary’s Alana Ramsay was ninth.

Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia won gold in the women’s visually impaired category, finishing 0.65 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Jade Etherington. Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia won bronze. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Schaffelhuber could win silver.


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