Peters finishes sixth in his Paralympics debut
The emotions were bitter sweet for Corey Peters after he finished sixth on debut at the Winter Paralympics last night.
Competing in the Super G sitting category, the New Plymouth-raised, Wanaka-based skier safely negotiated his way down the piste in increasingly difficult snow conditions to initially be in fifth place overall before slipping one place to finish just over 4sec out of the medals.
A small technical error in the first half of his run cost him a chance of pushing for a place on the podium.
"We counted the seconds on the time I lost and I could have finished fourth or even third. In a way the sixth is pleasing, but it's always gutting to make a mistake when you know you can eliminate them," Peters said.
"I just leant inside with my body weight and with the snow being so soft the ski just went out from underneath me. It was more of a technique thing."
Peters has targeted top 10 finishes in all of his events this week in Sochi, but the Super G result may mean he has to revise those expectations upwards.
"It's not out of the question. I've podiumed at world cups and it's the same guys there. The snow conditions have really levelled the playing field...it's getting super rutted and super bumpy and it's a matter of hanging on and sliding to the finish and not quitting really."
Japan's Akira Kano backed up from his gold medal in the downhill to take out the Super G sitting event as well.
New Zealand team mate Adam Hall slid out of contention late in his Super G run in the standing category.
Starting midway through the field, Hall had just moved ahead of leader Markus Salcher's split time when he slid out of his race line and was unable to continue.
Salcher went on to claim the gold medal from Austrian team mate Matthias Lanzinger, with Russian Alexey Bugaev third.
Hall's favoured event is Friday's slalom, the event he won gold in at Vancouver four years ago, and chef de mission Ashley Light said Hall would take plenty away from yesterday's result.
"I'm really proud of both of them. Adam, before his fall, his splits were amongst the fastest guys so that shows his training is working. A mistake in the difficult terrain just caught him out, along with a lot of the other athletes. I think he'll take a lot of confidence from how fast he was leading into that [crash]."
Peters' sixth place was a great result on debut, Light said.
"Again, what we can take out of that was his fighting spirit. He wasn't just going to lie down after that mistake. If you were good enough to get down on that hill you were in it and for Corey to get a top six is phenomenal."
Both skiers will move on to the super combined event, which includes giant slalom and slalom runs, tomorrow night.
New Zealand snowboarder Carl Murphy's snowboard cross event is on Friday.