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ST. MORITZ, SUI (Jan. 15, 2013) — Another promising performance from visually-impaired skier Mac Marcoux was the highlight in what was otherwise a challenging day for the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
Marcoux, from Sault-Ste Marie, Ont., placed fourth in slalom at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup, in a race where only two other Canadians finished the course. His two-run combined time of one minute, 25.02 seconds was 1:16 seconds off the third-place spot.
“Mac skied pretty well today. He’s a hungry, eager young guy with lots of energy and he goes out there every day to win,” said Brianne Law, athletic director for the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team. “Today he wasn’t quite as close as he has been in giant slalom, but it was good to see him put two runs together and come up with a nice result.”
The encouraging racing from 15-year-old Marcoux comes on the heels of a podium finish in giant slalom on Monday – his second podium result since his debut on the IPC World Cup circuit just last week.
Marcoux was guided by IPC World Cup coach and substitute guide, Lars Eriksson, In Tuesday’s race, because Marocoux’s regular guide - his brother, Billy Joe Marcoux - is resting after falling in Sunday’s giant slalom.
Chris Williamson, who also competes in the visually-impaired category, has been the top Canadian finisher in the IPC World Cup season so far. Although he was slated to ski in Tuesday’s slalom, he fell during warm-up and irritated his back, causing him to pull out of the race.
The only other two Canadians to finish were Vancouver, B.C.’s Morgan Perrin, who placed 12th (1:28.71) in the men’s standing category, and sit-skier Josh Dueck, of Kimberley, B.C., who also logged a 12th-place finish (1:32.11).
“Considering where those guys have been recently, finishing in the top 15 is good for their confidence, but we definitely have a long way to go before being at the top of our game,” Law said.
Braydon Luscombe, from Duncan, B.C., was skiing well when he caught an edge on a roller and did not finish his first run. Luscombe competes in the men’s standing category.
Sit-skier Caleb Brousseau, from Terrace, B.C., was disqualified when he crashed during the final three gates on the course, crossing the finish line but subsequently missing a gate.
On the ladies’ team, both Alexandra Starker, from Calgary, Alta., and Kimberly Joines, from Rossland, B,C., did not finish their first runs. Starker, who competes in the standing category, missed the first gate, and Joines, a sit-skier, fell on the first pitch.
The error-riddled race was “a trying day with a few good moments” said Law. “It’s a good, challenging hill, with some big pitches. I think it’s fair to say we’ve had moments of great racing, but as a whole I think we’re underperforming. I know we can do better, and our expectations will be higher going into World Champs.”
The skiers are at the tail end of a grueling race schedule: after Wednesday’s slalom, they will have competed in eight races in nine days.
“For sure everybody is tired,” Law said. “It’s an incredibly rare and aggressive schedule. Everyone is looking forward to going home, but we are in the same boat as all the other countries. We gotta get out there and be tougher than everyone else.”
Although not ideal, the results from St. Moritz’s races will give the team a good understanding of the areas they need to work on, Law said, allowing the coaches and racers to set strong goals for training in preparation for the anticipated World Championship races in La Molina, Spain, in February.
JAN. 15, 2013 – IPC WORLD CUP – ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND – MEN’S SLALOM
JAN. 15, 2013 – IPC WORLD CUP – ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND – LADIES’ SLALOM
The Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team will race one more day of slalom on Wednesday in St. Moritz, before returning to Canada for training in preparation for the IPC World Championships on Feb. 18-27 in La Molina, Spain.
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