Griffith’s Joany Badenhorst has continued her great preparation for the Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang with success at the IPC Para-snowboarding World Cup finals in Big White, Canada recently.
The 23-year-old posted first in the qualification run and then fought her way through the quarter and semi-finals in style, before defeating Spain’s Astrid Fina Parades in her head-to-head fight for gold.
The victory to end the World Cup is an ominous sign for the her rivals with one month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang Paralympic Games. Badenhorst will contest both the snowboard cross and banked slalom.
“All the riders were out in full force today, meaning competition was as tough as ever, but securing gold and having that a month out from the Paralympic Games is incredibly reassuring, and knowing that the hard work we put in is leading us the right way is fantastic,” she said
“I could not be happier with my runs today. I did the fastest time for the girls in my class, and managed to keep that momentum going until the very end.”
She continued her fine form in the final banked slalom event today (SB-LL2), the Griffith local placed first in both her runs, finishing in an impressive time of 1:25.80 – outclassing silver medallist Renske van Beek by more than 13 seconds.
“We finished the final race before the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games and I’m very happy to say I took out the gold in the banked slalom, the IPC Crystal gloves in the banked slalom and the overall women’s title,” she said.
“I couldn’t be happier and proud of myself and my team here.
“The racing was really intense today, the conditions were difficult but the IPC gave us an incredible course to work with and I’m really happy and excited to see my hard work come together.”
Finishing the World Cup season on a high, and placing first on the overall rankings has been the labour of four years of hard work and determination after a training crash in Sochi saw her miss out on her Paralympic debut.
And while the 23-year-old is pleased with her results, she knows the work is not over yet as she counts down the final month until the pinnacle event begins.
“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the Paralympic Games begin in PyeongChang but I’m really happy to see how it goes and put in that hard work leading into the Games.”
Australia’s Para-snowboarders will now take a short break before they begin their staging camp for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games in Japan. Badenhorst will lead her country alongside Mitchell Gourley at the 2018 Winter Paralympics.