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Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

GB curlers bounce back at Paralympics as skiers impress

GB curlers back to winning ways

Britain's wheelchair curlers bounced back from two opening-day defeats with a 10-2 win over Switzerland on the second day of Paralympics competition.

And debutants Kelly Gallagher and Anna Turney were the pick of GB's slalom skiers as action began in Whistler.

Northern Irishwoman Gallagher moved from eighth after her first run in the visually impaired event to take sixth.

Turney, from Northampton, was sixth in the sitting event while veteran Sean Rose was eight in the men's equivalent.

Slalom is a bit like being punched. A couple of gates hit me in the face

Kelly Gallagher

"It used to be my least favourite event, so I'm really pleased with that," said Turney. "I think that's a result I can be proud of in my first Paralympic Games."

Rose was 9.11 seconds behind German winner Martin Braxenthaler's time of one minute 41.63 sec, while fellow Britons Tim Farr and Talan Skeels-Piggins were 20th and 31st respectively.

Gallagher - 24, from County Down and the first winter Paralympian from Northern Ireland - was delighted after her second run, behind guide Claire Robb, with Austria's Sabine Gasteiger taking gold.

Kelly Gallagher
Gallagher is the first winter Paralympian from Northern Ireland

"The first run was all about nerves, being in my first Paralympics and I was proud to get down and not DNF [did not finish]," said Gallagher.

"Then in the second run I actually skied and followed Claire and actually listened.

"I'm happy with that being our first time on that hill and now we've got giant slalom on Tuesday and I feel quite confident in GS.

"Slalom is a bit like being punched. A couple of gates hit me in the face."

Jane Sowerby, racing in the sitting slalom for the first time with a metal plate attached to her collarbone following a fracture in January, did not finish her first run and nor did Russell Docker in the men's event.

Middlesbrough-born Rose, who is entered in all five alpine events, is considered Britain's top prospect of an alpine skiing medal but his best event, the downhill, was postponed on Saturday.

Sean Rose's Paralympic skiing guide

Persistent heavy fog shrouded the Whistler Creekside run and is forecast to continue.

The organisers decided to bring forward the more technical slalom events from the final weekend to the first and to move the speed races back to the end of the Games.

Having lost their two opening round-robin games to Canada and Norway at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, the British curlers bounced back in style with a 10-2 victory over the Swiss in their only game of the day.

Skipped by Michael McCreadie, with Aileen Nelson playing fourth and fellow 2006 silver medallists Tom Killin and Angie Malone making up the quartet, the all-Scottish team were in determined mood.

A big fifth end, when the British team all found their range with several draws to the front end of the house, saw Swiss skip Manfred Bollinger overcurl his hammer, the final stone of the end, to allow McCreadie's team to steal four points and take control at 7-2.

The British tacked on three more points over the next two ends, leading Bollinger to concede the game after the seventh with no need to play the eighth and final end.

"It's only the beginning," McCreadie said afterwards. "We need to move on because we have two tough games [against Korea and the United States] on Monday.

"Now we need to play every game like it's a final to get to the semi-final."

The top four in the 10-team tournament advance to the semis.

The host nation celebrated its first medal of the Games on Sunday as Colette Bourgonje won silver for Canada in the women's 10km sitting cross-country skiing event, behind Liudmilla Vauchok of Belarus.

And there was a silver to celebrate at Creekside as well after Josh Dueck claimed second place behind Braxenthaler in the men's slalom-sitting.

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see also
GB team suffer poor opening day
14 Mar 10 |  Disability Sport
Gallagher added to Vancouver team
03 Feb 10 |  Disability Sport
Winter Paralympics get under way
13 Mar 10 |  Disability Sport
Team GB ready for Paralympics
11 Mar 10 |  Disability Sport

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