“Golden Girl” Anna Schaffelhuber has won the first gold medal for Germany at the Paralympics in Pyeongchang. The alpine skier from TSV Bayerbach won the downhill in the seated class on the Jeongseon circuit in 1’33.26 minutes ahead of Momoka Muraoko from Japan (1.49 seconds back) and Laurie Stephens (USA/2.54).
For the 25-year-old Schaffelhuber, who had won five gold medals in Sochi in 2014, it was the sixth Paralympic victory of her career. The athlete, however, also benefited from the crashes of her team mate Anna-Lena Forster (Radolfzell), who dropped out with intermediate best time, and Austria’s favourite Claudia Lösch.
“I’ve had a dream and it’s come true. I’m all the happier and more relaxed. You can build on this,”said Schaffelhuber, who will be back in the Super-G on Sunday.
The start was also successful for Andrea Rothfuss. The 28-year-old won silver in the standing class. It was 2.23 seconds behind Marie Bochet from France (1:30.30 minutes). Visually impaired Noemi Ristau (Marburg) had to settle for the ungrateful fourth place in her class.