More success for Etherington

Andover Advertiser: Jade Etherington, right, and guide Caroline Powell claimed another silver in Sochi Jade Etherington, right, and guide Caroline Powell claimed another silver in Sochi

Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell became the first Britons to win four medals at one Winter Paralympics by taking a third Sochi silver in the super combined on Friday.

Visually-impaired skier Etherington and guide Powell safely negotiated the super-G stage of the event to earn Great Britain their fifth medal of the Games.

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

They were brave enough to risk throwing it away by going for gold, but the 3.12 seconds they had to make up on Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva proved too tough an ask - only just, though, with the home favourite taking the title by 0.63secs.

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

Their silver followed second-placed finishes in the slalom and the downhill events and bronze in the super-G.

Etherington and Powell have one more event to come, the giant slalom on Sunday, which will give them a chance to write another piece of history. No Briton has won five Winter Paralympic medals.

Etherington said: "Looking back 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 pipped the pair to the slalom title) 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.

"We only started skiing in August, I broke my ankle and we have had illness, money (concerns) and everything like that, working out what races to go to to get qualified.

"Hopefully everyone can see from the time that we did fight for it, we didn't just come down to get the silver and we did GB proud."

Powell added: "Jade has definitely reached her peak. Together we have formed a great bond.

"There is great communication between us, it has worked so well throughout the season and we have peaked at the right time.

"We have managed to get four medals and we are so happy with that. We are obviously devastated not to get the gold, but we can't do anything about that."

Sit-skier Anna Turney missed out on bronze as she crashed out on her super-G run, with only two of the five-strong field finishing.

That meant just getting down the course would have secured a medal, but, as the first skier out of the gate and with time to make up, she knew she could not take it easy.

"I was lying in fifth, I had to go for it," Turney said. "I was first out of the gate, I went for it, I tried to ski clean, I tried to ski fast.

"I think I was just too aggressive for the (softer) snow conditions and crashed."

Mick Brennan, the former soldier who lost his legs in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq in 2004, claimed his highest finish so far by finishing eighth in the men's sitting event.

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