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Warner in winter action

South African Bruce Warner has ended 32nd and 31st in his first two Alpine Skiing events at the Winter Paralympic Games in Whistler, Canada.

Warner, South Africa’s only competitor at the Paralympics, ended 32nd in a field of 42 competitors in the men’s slalom event (standing). The course involved a vertical drop of 169 metres and featured 52 gates and 50 turns.

Skiing in conditions that saw temperatures between 0.6 deg Celcius at the start to 4.5C at the finish, Warner completed his first run in 1min 04.44sec.

His second run was made in 1:01.81 for a total of 2min 06.25sec. That saw him end 20.85sec behind winner Adam Hall of New Zealand.

In his second event, the giant slalom (standing) he ended 32nd in his first run and improved a position in the second run. He had times of 1:26.04 and 1:26.05 respectively. A total of 74 competitors started the event.

That gave him 31st overall (2:52.09 overall) and 28.17sec behind German winner Bernd Schonfelder.

Bloemfontein-born but now living in Aubonne, Switzeland, Warner still has to compete in the other three Alpine Skiing disciplines.

Speaking from Whistler Creekside, Warner said: “I had something of a conservative first run in the slalom but had a good second run.”

“In the giant slalom I finished a place better. I had a fairly costly mistake in the first run but felt I had skiied well otherwise. Given that giant slalom is my weakest event and the fact that I had that mistake I was really happy with the result.”

The 2010 Paralympics are the fourth Games that Warner, 38, has attended and he is still South Africa’s only Winter Paralympics representative.

“Generally I’ve really enjoyed the Paralympics so far, especially the tremendous support from my family and friends (complete with vuvuzelas) who must be the noisiest section of the crowd.”


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