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【Winter Sports】PyeongChang Pre:Snowboarder Narita, Alpine Morii, Cross Country Nitta and Others

It is less than one year until the PyeongChang Paralympic Games to be held March 9–18, 2018.
Many Japanese athletes attended the Hello PyeongChang Test Events held in the next host city of Pyeongchang, Korea, to prepare for the real Games next year. The Test Events included the sports of Snowboarding, Alpine Skiing and Nordic Skiing. Medal-hopeful athletes like alpine skiers Taiki Morii and Takeshi Suzuki, cross-country skier Yoshihiro Nitta, and more checked out the feel and snow quality of the venues.

New face Narita takes gold in Snowboarding, a new sport at the PyeongChang Paralympics!

The Jeongseon 2017 World Para Snowboard World Cup Finals were held at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre on March 10–13, with the Banked Slalom and Snowboard Cross events. Japanese competitors were Gurimu Narita (SB-LL2), Daichi Oguri (SB-LL1), Takahito Ichikawa (SB-LL2) and Daisuke Fujishima (SB-LL2).

Narita won his first World Cup in the Banked Slalom, becoming a favorite for the PyeongChang Paralympic Games.

Narita also won bronze in the Snowboard Cross event.

Oguri took fifth place in the Banked Slalom (photo) and sixth place in the Snowboard Cross.

Ichikawa in the Banked Slalom event

Fujishima competed in the Banked Slalom.

Seasoned skier Morii comes one step closer to his gold medal dream. The future looks promising for Japanese medals in Alpine Skiing.

The Jeongseon 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals were held at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre on March 11¬–18. The events were the Downhill, Super G (two races), Giant Slalom and Slalom. From Japan were men's sitting skiers Taiki Morii (LW11), Akira Kano (LW11), Takeshi Suzuki (LW12-2) and Kenji Natsume (LW11), women's sitting skier Momoka Muraoka (LW10-2), and men's standing skier Hiraku Misawa (LW2).

Morii took the gold in two events (Downhill and Giant Slalom), making him the World Cup champion for the 2016–17 season.

Morii in his gold medal Downhill race

Suzuki won the gold in his specialty, the Slalom. (Photo shows Super G)

Women's skier Muraoka took home four medals, including two silvers. (Photo shows Downhill race)

Standing skier Misawa's best result was sixth in the Super G.

Kano won bronze in the Downhill. (Photo shows Super G)

Natsume finished eighth in the Downhill.

Nordic skier Nitta takes gold in his favorite Classic event

The PyeongChang 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup took place at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre on March 10–15, with the Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing. Japanese competitors were men's standing skiers Yoshihiro Nitta (LW8), Taiki Kawayoke (LW5/7) and Keigo Iwamoto (LW3) in only the Cross Country events, men's standing skiers Keiichi Sato (LW8) and Masaru Hoshizawa (LW8), women's standing skiers Yurika Abe (LW6) and Momoko Dekijima (LW6), visual impairment skier Kazuto Takamura (B1), and women's sitting skier Nonno Nitta (LW10.5).

Nitta, a Paralympic cross-country gold medalist, took silver in the Classic Sprint and gold in the Classic Middle on the last day!

Nitta won the Classic Middle gold, shown in the photo.

Dekijima took bronze in the Cross Country Free.

Abe competed in both events, finishing fourth in the Biathlon.

Sato finished sixth in the Biathlon.

Kawayoke skied cross-country without poles

Hoshizawa's best result was tenth in the Biathlon.

Blind skier Takamura with his guide

Sitting skier Nonno Nitta aims for her first Paralympic Games.

Iwamoto in the cross-country event

Norway wins the Wheelchair Curling Championship

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017 was held in the Gangneung Curling Centre for eight days, from March 4 to 11. Norway took gold, Russia silver, Scotland bronze, and China fourth place. (Japan did not compete.)

Norway defeated all other top countries

The teams checked the ice quality at the championship.

text&photos by X-1
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