Paralympics: Switzerland wins first gold, Russia on podium

Paralympics: Switzerland wins first gold, Russia on podium

34Sochi, March 16 (IANS) Swiss skier Christoph Kunz won the first gold medal for his country while Russia joined the United States and Canada on the sledge hockey podium at the Winter Paralympics here.

Kunz won the men’s sitting giant slalom race at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre Saturday. This is the first gold medal for Switzerland here and also the 50th gold at the Paralympics for the country, reports Xinhua.

“I am really happy. It was hard for me after the downhill and super combined. I had a chance in giant slalom. The course was not in the best condition. We all had a hard week. I am happy I won a medal for Switzerland,” Kunz said.

The Shayba Arena witnessed some 6,000 spectators during the heated sledge hockey final between Russia and the US. US forward Josh Sweeney scored the lone goal in a tense game as US became the first team to win back-to-back Winter Paralympics sledge hockey titles with a 1-0 win over Russia.

“I saw the defender, he had the puck and I just went after him. I did a little fake because that’s what you want to do when you’re up against a goalie that good. It wasn’t anything that my other teammates couldn’t have done,” Sweeney said.

The silver winning Russian team, created just five years ago, established themselves as a sledge hockey superpower joining US, Canada and Norway as a consistent medal contender.

Russia earned a spot on the podium after their Olympic men’s and women’s teams were bundled out earlier.

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