Teenager Knight celebrates double medal joy

Britain's Millie Knight, right, and guide Brett Wild compete in the women's super-G, visually impaired, at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Jeongseon.
Britain's Millie Knight, right, and guide Brett Wild compete in the women's super-G, visually impaired, at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Jeongseon.
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Teenager Millie Knight celebrated her “crazy” achievement in claiming a second Winter Paralympics medal in as many days in Pyeongchang.

Knight followed up her second place in the women’s downhill with another silver in the VI super-G along with her guide Brett Wild.

She said: “If you’d said I would have two medals in two days at the Paralympics I would have said you are crazy.

“This time four years ago I was sat in the crowd watching Kelly (Gallagher) win gold and now I’ve made the podium myself.

“I can’t quite believe this has happened again. I was really relaxed – I think it (my first medal) took a lot of pressure off, so it meant I slept really well and was in a great place to race.”

Her success completed a remarkable comeback for Knight, who had sustained concussion during a crash on the same course in Pyeongchang in February.

She was pipped to gold by Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova, who landed her seventh Paralympic title alongside guide Natalia Subrtova in a time of 1:30.17, over three seconds quicker than Knight.

But there was more medal success for Great Britain as Knight’s team-mate Menna Fitzpatrick rebounded from her failure to finish in the downhill by taking bronze with guide Jennifer Kehoe.

The Macclesfield 20-year-old had crashed early in her first run on the downhill course but was able to recover and ski down the rest of the course.

Kehoe said: “After the downhill we just had a cup of tea and a chat with our sport psychologist who just helped us to think about all of the positives that we have had from this season and the success that we have had.

“It was about knowing we can do it and just getting on the hill and doing it and not trying to do anything clever or special.”

Defending champion Kelly Gallagher from Bangor finished in eighth place along with her guide Gary Smith.

Gallagher, who was a late admission to the GB squad after a number of seasons affected by injury, said: “I just need to ski like I’ve got nothing to lose and try to channel that.

“There’s three more races and we have a lot to work on. We’re here though and a few months ago I was worried at the thought of even inspecting a super-G course.”

Knight’s first medal came on Saturday, as she and Wild clocked one minute and 30.58 seconds, a time beaten only by Slovakian Henrieta Farkasova and her guide Natalia Subrtova. Canterbury’s Knight, 19, said: “I literally can’t stop smiling. This is amazing, the year we have had to get here, it has been a struggle. I never really thought we’d be back in this position.

“It is the best feeling in the world. I knew I’d stopped at the finish line and that was my goal, there was no repeats of last year where I just landed on my face.

“I just waited until I could hear what Brett’s reaction is because I can’t see the screen and when Brett said ‘Yes!’ I knew it was good.”

Wild, from Glasgow, added: “It was phenomenal for us to be back where we wanted to be and be back in the mix.”

James Whitley, the 20-year-old grandson of former Northern Ireland Prime Minister James Chichester-Clark, finished 10th in the men’s downhill, while Welsh veteran Chris Lloyd took 20th place.

Scotsman Scott Meenagh said there was “such a buzz” on his Paralympics debut as he came home 18th in the sitting 7.5km biathlon.

The 28-year-old former paratrooper lost his legs after stepping on an explosive while serving in Afghanistan seven years ago. He became the first Briton to compete in the biathlon at the Paralympics since Terry Ahrens 20 years ago.

“It feels amazing, absolutely incredible,” Meenagh said. “It’s so different at a Paralympics and to be there with some of the best people in the world was an absolute privilege and it brought another level out of me today.”

Great Britain made an impressive start to the round-robin wheelchair curling with a 5-2 win over world champions Norway, the result described by skip Aileen Neilson as “a real boost of confidence”.

“We’re really delighted, the whole team played some really good shots and it was enough to get a win,” Neilson said.