Aussie Patmore adds bronze at Paralympics

Warren Barnsley
Australia's Simon Patmore has won snowboard banked slalom bronze at the Paralympic Winter Games

Snowboarder Simon Patmore's dream Winter Paralympic debut has finished with a bronze medal in giant slalom to go with his drought-breaking gold.

The former para-athletics star, who also won bronze at London 2012, claimed Australia's fourth medal of the PyeongChang Games.

Patmore clocked 51.99 seconds on the last of Friday's three runs to finish 1.22 seconds behind American winner Mike Minor in the upper-limb disability class, with Austria's Patrick Mayrhofer second.

He was placed second after his second slalom run but was bumped down in the finale by Minor, who shaved off more than three seconds.

Patmore had to improve his time on his final run to hold off Italian Jacopo Luchini, who finished fourth 0.03 seconds behind.

Fellow Australian Games debutant Sean Pollard was fifth, 3.07 seconds off the pace.

Five days ago, the 30-year-old Patmore clinched Australia's first Winter Paralympics gold medal in 16 years in the snowboard cross.

"I had no expectations going into banked slalom. I definitely did have a little confidence boost after the gold medal," Patmore said.

"I knew the boards were running fast so, when I came down the course the first time and put down a good time, I thought, 'well it's game on'.

"I got some good advice from my coach and, each run, I was able to put down a faster time.

"It was intense up there. So many personalities flying around and people right in your face. So you just had to stay concentrated."

Fellow Australian Ben Tudhope, 18, was seventh in the lower limb category two after finishing three seconds behind gold winner Gurimu Narita of Japan.

Patmore, who has Erb's palsy, on Monday became Australia's first Winter Paralympic gold medallist since Michael Milton and fellow alpine skier Bart Bunting at Salt Lake City.

He also became the first Australian man to win medals at both a Winter and Summer Paralympics, having won bronze in the 200m T46 in London.

Jess Gallagher did so previously with bronze medals in alpine skiing and cycling at Vancouver, Sochi and the Rio Games.

With alpine skier Melissa Perrine winning two bronze medals, Patmore's result means Australia have bettered their haul of one silver and three bronze at Vancouver 2010.

The Australians have doubled their medal tallies in Turin 2006 (one silver, one bronze) and Sochi 2014 (two bronze).

Patmore, who had quit athletics in 2014 to take up snowboarding, despite having no experience, is a strong chance to carry the flag at Sunday's closing ceremony.

"It would be absolutely amazing but no expectations," he said.

"But to be able to lead all my teammates out there, who have also done a fantastic job, I'd be very proud.

"To have a celebration for something like this, to celebrate sport, celebrate athletes with a disability, it's (closing ceremony) the best part of the whole of the Paralympic Games."