Chrystal and Watson finish strongly in Sochi

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SUSF athletes Lavinia Chrystal and Aimee Watson performed strongly over the weekend, as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics officially came to a close.  

Chasing a top-30 finish in the slalom event on the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center slopes, SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Lavinia Chrystal completed her first run on Friday in a time of 59.74 seconds, which put her in 34th position.   

On Saturday Chrystal went even faster, clocking a time of 58.16 to finish in 32nd position overall. It was a fantastic performance from the alpine skier, who made her Olympic debut on Tuesday when she finished 40th in the giant slalom.

Completing SUSF’s representations in Sochi was former SUSF scholarship holder and cross country skier Aimee Watson. Having pulled out of the 15km skiathlon event due to injury, before finishing 63rd in the Ladies’ 10km Classic, Watson also finished 63rd in the 30km freestyle mass start on Saturday.

Earlier in the Games, former SUSF scholarship holder Danielle O’Brien and figure skating partner Greg Merriman finished in 20th position in the ice dancing competition. Having already achieved their goal of securing a top 20 berth after the short dance routine, Merriman and O’Brien scored 75.85 points in the free dance.

SUSF’s fourth representative in Sochi was three-time Winter Olympian Astrid Radjenovic (nee Loch-Wilkinson). The former SUSF EAP scholarship holder partnered with summer Olympian Jana Pittman to equal Australia’s best result in the women’s bobsleigh when they finished 14th overall on day 12. It was a record that Radjenovic set back in 2006 in Torino with Kylie Reed.

All eyes will now turn to the Winter Paralympic Games, where SUSF’s Toby Kane is scheduled to compete for Australia in an incredible five alpine skiing events in Sochi. The soon to be three-time Paralympian will compete in the downhill LW2, super combined LW2, giant slalom LW2, alpine skiing LW2, slalom LW2 and super G LW2. Kane, a former SUSF scholarship holder, won a bronze medal in the super G event at the 2006 Torino Winter Paralympic Games.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 7-16 March, 2014.