Three chase medals

Par­a­lympians pre­pare for Rus­sian games

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By CHE BAKER

Wanaka has yet again proven its strength of mould­ing toprank­ing ath­letes with all three par­a­lympic New Zealand team hope­fuls based in the area. Alpine skier Adam Hall will be out to re­tain his ti­tle when he heads to Rus­sia next year for his third Win­ter Par­a­lympic Games. Hall, 26, will be joined by sit-ski racer Corey Peters, 30, and paras­now­boarder Carl Mur­phy, 34, who will both be com­pet­ing at the Par­a­lymics for the first time. Hall will race in the stand­ing ski slalom, the event in which won gold in Van­cou­ver in 2010, su­per-G and su­per com­bined. Peters, will com­pete in the slalom, su­per-G, su­per com­bined and down­hill and Mur­phy will con­test the snow­board cross as paras­now­board­ing makes its de­but at the games. Hall, who flies to Colorado this evening to start train­ing, said re­gain­ing his gold medal would be tough. It could be any of the top10 slalom skiers in the world tak­ing the podium, Hall said. He said it was great the team had been an­nounced early as other coun­tries’ ath­letes would be fight­ing for a po­si­tion right up un­til the games. ‘‘We are all re­ally com­pet­i­tive and all striv­ing for the same re­sult,’’ Hall said. Peters, who has only been in­volved in the sport for three years, said the $10,000 he spent on gear on a whim at a sports expo, with­out even test tri­alling first, had paid off. De­spite only hav­ing a lim­ited time to qual­ify, af­ter hav­ing a good sea­son I knew it was pos­si­ble, he said. ‘‘It goes to show I’m up there in speed. It’s not un­re­al­is­tic to get some re­sults,’’ he said. But ski rac­ing was de­pen­dent on what hap­pened on the day. ‘‘There are so many vari­ables,’’ he said. Mur­phy said af­ter seven sea­sons para-snow­board­ing ‘‘it’s epic’’ that it was now part of the games. Par­a­lympic New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Fiona Al­lan said the tar­get of the team was to re­turn with two golds.

Photo: CHE BAKER

Ath­letes: New Zealand Win­ter Par­a­lympic Team hope­fuls Carl Mur­phy, Adam Hall and Corey Peters. Hall will com­pete at his third win­ter olympics in Rus­sia next year while Mur­phy and Peters will make their de­buts.

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