Austrian 16-year-old Veronika Aigner, with sister Elisabeth as her guide, sprang a surprise in women’s visually impaired event on the fourth day of the World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup at the Spanish resort of La Molina.
As the slalom programme began, the Austrian pairing won the gold medal in 1min 53.44sec ahead of some proven champions.
Australians Melissa Perrine and guide Bobbi Kelly, who had, the day before, secured giant slalom crystal globe overall title in their first season together, finished second in 1:54.91.
The bronze medal went to Britain’s Paralympic champions Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jennifer Kehoe, winners of the previous day’s race, in 2:02.68.
The women’s standing event was won by France’s Paralympic champion - and Legion d'Honneur recipient - Marie Bochet in 1:49.14, ahead of Canada’s Frederique Turgeon, who clocked 1:55.83, and her compatriot Alana Ramsay, who recorded 1:56.29 from her two runs.
The previous day Bochet and Japan’s Momoka Muraoka had both made it six wins from six World Cup races to claim the giant slalom crystal globes in the women’s standing and sitting respectively.
But Muraoka had to settle for second place in today’s sitting slalom as she clocked 1:58.29 behind Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster, who won with 1:52.28, with third place going to Laurie Stephens of the United States in 2:06.45.
France’s 18-year-old world champion Arthur Bauchet maintained his run of success at La Molina by winning the first men’s standing slalom in 1:32.67, well ahead of Santeri Kiiveri of Finland, who clocked 1:42.56, and Aron Lindstroem of Sweden, on 1:42.67.
The previous day Bauchet had been awarded the crystal globe as overall World Cup giant slalom standing winner on the basis of having a lower number of race points, having finished level with Theo Gmur on points.
The Swiss skier, having lost the first two races to Bauchet in La Molina, managed to finish just 0.12 seconds ahead of his rival in yesterday’s final race before collapsing at the finish line.
Norway’s Jesper Pedersen took the men’s sitting slalom race in 1:46.99, ahead of Japan’s Taiki Morii, who clocked 1:48.50, and Austria's Markus Gfatterhofer, who finished with 1:49.07.
Slovakia’s Miroslav Haraus, with guide Maros Hudik, won the men’s vision impaired race of the day in 1:48.68, ahead of France’s Hyacinthe Deleplace, who recorded 1:53.77 in partnership with Maxime Jourdane.
Kevin Burton of the US, guided by Kurt Grimmelmann, was third in 1:55.63.