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Powell pushing for golden finish

Guide Caroline Powell (left) and visually impaired skier Jade Etherington have won three medals so far at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi (pic: Danny Lawson/PA) Guide Caroline Powell (left) and visually impaired skier Jade Etherington have won three medals so far at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi (pic: Danny Lawson/PA)

Friday, March 14, 2014
8:00 AM

Former Coopers pupil aims to top Paralympics podium

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Caroline Powell will always remember winning an opening-day silver on her Winter Paralympic debut – Great Britain’s first female medal of any colour in skiing.

But with two events with visually impaired skier Jade Etherington still left, former Coopers pupil Powell insists returning home a champion is her main focus in Sochi.

While the pair celebrated ownhill silver on day one of the Games, the same result in the slalom on Wednesday brought tears of disappointment.

Having led at the halfway stage Powell and Etherington, who also won super-G bronze, fell short of gold by just 0.65 seconds – knowing they may have let victory slip their grasp.

The second half of the super combined concludes today (Friday) where only three competitors remain, meaning any finish will secure another medal.

Whatever colour it may be, if they finish the pair will earn a fourth medal in Sochi, a feat no other British Winter Paralympian has managed at any single Games.

A gap of 3.12secs separates them from Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva in first, but Powell has vowed to risk it all in search of the gold.

“I’m loving it here, the experience has been amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything better – except a gold,” said Powell.

“We love the slalom and we came out fighting in our second run, but it’s a different race, a different course so your expectations change, especially after the first run.

“We did well, but we didn’t do well enough. We will approach it [second half of super combined] the same way we approach any other race – go in to perform the best we can.

“And if that performance is good enough to win a gold, it’s good enough to win a gold and if it’s not, it’s not.

“We don’t want to go in just to get a medal because we can, we want to go and get the best possible result we can.”

Powell and Etherington will see their first Winter Paralympics conclude with the giant slalom on Sunday, with the potential to medal from all five alpine skiing events.

But Powell, who only began ski racing with Etherington towards the end of last year, insists quantity will not trump quality if a gold is up for grabs.

“We want to come down performing at our best as usual,” she added. “We want to go in and get the best possible result we can and if that means going out there and skiing the hardest we’ve done then that is what we will do.”

*Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit: www.Sainsburys.co.uk/activekids.

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