Australian para skiers unable to turn around sour day

Supplied image of Australian LW11 Paralympic skier Sam Tait during a training session ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AAP Image/Australian Paralympic Committee, Sport The Library, Jeff Crow)

Australia’s alpine skiers have failed to threaten the podium on a dismal day for the Winter Paralympics team in which it lost gold medal hope Joany Badenhorst.

Three of the six-strong contingent – Sam Tait, Tori Pendergast and Jonty O’Callaghan – competing in the super-G failed to finish in PyeongChang on Sunday.

Three-time Paralympian Melissa Perrine was the best performer on day two, finishing fifth in an 11-woman field in the vision-impaired.

Along with guide and coach Christian Geiger, Perrine was 6.79 seconds (factored) off gold medallist Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia, who also took the downhill title.

Australian co-captain Mitch Gourley (standing) improved on his DNF a day earlier in the downhill to place 12th in the super-G, while Mark Soyer (sitting) overcame equipment failures which had plagued his Games debut to finish 16th.

As temperatures reached six degrees in PyeongChang, there was hope Australia would benefit from the warmth and wet snow due to familiarity with home conditions.

But it was not the case on Sunday.

“It’s warm. It’s really warm,” Gourley said.

“They’re doing the best they can and they did a good job by putting that little hold in between the men and women, allow the salt to work a bit better.

“Now it’s really breaking up.”

Pendergast was coming off a fourth-placing in the women’s sitting on Saturday, having held a medal position for most of her run before losing control in the final stages.

But she was disqualified in the super-G early after missing a gate.

“I tried to go for it as much as I could, especially with that course as there’s a lot of swing to it,” Pendergast said.

“I came over the roll and then just hit a bump, which shot my ski out in a bit of different direction than I wanted to go.

“Unfortunately that just made me miss the gate”

In a devastating blow, star snowboarder Badenhorst was ruled out for the Games on Sunday due to a knee injury suffered in a training crash.

She was one of Australia’s best hopes to break a 16-year Paralympic gold medal drought after reaching the World Cup podium 22 times since Sochi 2014.

We've teamed up with Australian Associated Press to ensure you get both accurate and up to date reporting for the PyeongChang 2018 Games from the AAP team of top notch reporters Glenn Cullen and Warren Barnsley and photographer Dan Himbrechts.

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