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Joines in slalom silver medal position, awaiting appeal at Paralympic Winter Games

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SOCHI, Russia, March 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's Kimberly Joines conquered rough, low-visibility course conditions to fight her way to a silver medal position in the women's slalom sitting category at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday, but is currently awaiting the results of an appeal by a German athlete who was disqualified and is appealing that decision.

Germany's Anna Schaffelhuber was disqualified following the first of two slalom runs at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre. Because she is appealing her disqualification, the results of the women's sitting category are considered unofficial until an appeal process takes place on Thursday, March 13. 

The silver-place finish would be the second Paralympic medal of Joines' 12-year career; she also won bronze in super-G at the Turin 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. The 33-year-old, from Rossland, B.C., missed out on the 2010 Vancouver Games due to injury, so she was raring to reach the podium in Sochi.

"This feels pretty good," Joines said after posting a two-run combined time of two minutes, 15.16 seconds. "It's a little bittersweet, as some really strong competitors were not racing today for various reasons, but I'm still proud."

The women's sitting category featured an action-filled second run, as each racer spent time in first position in the leaderbox before being bumped by the next athlete to navigate the challenging course that was made even tougher by a huge dump of fresh, wet snowfall.

Joines posted the fastest second-run time of the day, but was edged out of the gold medal position by Germany's Anna-Lena Forster (2:14.35), who was slightly faster in the first run.

"That race was super tough. Those were actually the toughest conditions I think I've ever faced," said Joines, who is a two-time world champion and has won more than 20 International Paralympic Committee World Cups in her career. "I've never had such bumps like that to negotiate, so I guess I handled it well enough. I definitely had to keep my focus and not get hung up on the mistakes I made.

"It was nice to get this one out of the way, and to get the jitters out. It allows me the freedom to relax and focus on the giant slalom."

Laurie Stephens of the United States is currently in the bronze medal position (2:18.45). The official results of the women's sitting category will be announced on Thursday, March 13.

In the women's standing category, Alexandra Starker, of Calgary, Alta., was the top-placing Canadian with a sixth-place finish (2:14.16). Etobicoke, Ont.'s Erin Latimer was eighth (2:19.31), and Alana Ramsay, from Calgary, Alta. finished ninth (2:24.06). Germany's Andrea Rothfuss claimed the gold medal (1:59.85), silver went to Inga Medvedeva of Russia (2:06.70), and Slovakia's Petra Smarzova earned bronze (2:06.91).

Up next, men's night slalom is set for Thursday, and the women's super-G from the postponed super combined is scheduled for Friday, followed by men's and women's giant slalom on Saturday and Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of Canadian Paralympic athletes at any time, at no cost. 

For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, please visit paralympic.ca/team-canada.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

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