Belfast Telegraph

Kelly Gallagher targets British history after triple gold haul

By Frank Brownlow

Kelly Gallagher's hopes of becoming Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold medallist have been further boosted by a third triumph at the World Cup in Panorama, Canada.

The Bangor skier, who is visually impaired, is now set to be one of the stars of the British team, which will be named next Thursday, with the Sochi Games beginning on March 7.

Kelly clinched gold in the Super-Giant Slalom at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup yesterday, adding to her triumphs in the previous 72 hours in the Giant Slalom and Super-Combined.

Competing with English guide Charlotte Evans, the 28-year-old clocked 1:24.79 to take gold from Australia's Melissa Perrine (1:25.87) with Russian world champion Alexandra Frantseva in third (1:26.77)

Kelly, who won four medals at last month's World Championships, said: "We were a little bit nervous in the start gate but we worked all the way down and it was good fun.

"We're delighted to have done all these races in Panorama.

"It's been an amazing set-up and we're excited about the next part of the tour in Copper."

Kelly's success is all the more remarkable as she only returned to action last month after being sidelined for six months due to hip surgery.

Charlotte added: "It was pretty straight at the bottom so we were able to let it go.

"It was kind of about finding our guts and letting it go because it's just one run."

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín hailed Kelly's success.

The Minister said: "These wins are a great achievement for Kelly.

"She has already won four medals at the World Skiing Championships last month and these latest victories are further encouragement as she aims for a Paralympic gold medal.

"Only last week Kelly was awarded the Mary Peters Trust Outstanding Sportsperson of 2013 Award in recognition of her outstanding sporting performance," added the Minister.

"All of these achievements stand Kelly in great stead to achieve her goals and ambitions in the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi.

"I wish Kelly all the best for the future."

Belfast Telegraph


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