Canadian Kalle Ericsson wins first Paraski World Cup gold

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Canadian para-skier Kalle Ericsson won his first World Cup gold medal with victory Thursday in the men’s visually impaired slalom.

Ericsson, of Kimberley, British Columbia, teamed up with guide Sierra Smith of Ottawa to win the race by more than seven seconds in one minute 10.92 seconds.

Mingyu Hwang of South Korea was second in 1:17.99 and Hyacinthe Deleplace of France was third in 1:18.53.

Ericsson and Smith are in their first season together. Thursday’s race was the team’s seventh.

They have now combined for four medals, including a silver last week in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

Ericsson said his first World Cup victory “seems a bit surreal”.

“I didn’t know what to expect joining the World Cup circuit and it’s been a great experience so far,” he said.

“(I’m) excited to see what we can do in the future.”

Smith said both men approached Thursday’s race with no expectations.

“Our plan was to go out there and ski the best we could,” she said. “Just send it out, ski our best and go to the bottom. Things went pretty well.”

In the men’s sitting slalom, Kurt Oatway of Calgary finished ninth. He was coming off two consecutive podiums in Cortina, with a bronze medal in Wednesday’s super-G and a silver in Tuesday’s downhill.

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