Aussie women's para-skiers miss medals

Warren Barnsley

Australia's Melissa Perrine and Tori Pendergast were not among the medals in the alpine skiing downhill event on the opening day of the Winter Paralympics.

Perrine and sighted guide Christian Geiger finished fifth in the women's vision-impaired in PyeongChang on Saturday, 5.68 seconds (factored) behind gold-medal winner Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia.

The 30-year-old Perrine, in her third Games, will compete in four more events, with downhill one of her least favoured.

But she was disappointed considering strong form leading in which had seen her win medals in her last four para-World Cup events.

"I had a couple of key mistakes in areas which cost me the podium," she said.

"I don't think any athlete can shake off a disappointment like this easily but I can give myself half an hour to feel absolutely rat s***.

"Then I focus on the things I did well, I focus on my mistakes and then I put it aside and focus on tomorrow (super-G)."

Pendergast was fourth in the women's sitting, losing control in the final stages after holding a medal position for most of her run.

After waiting for five minutes at the top of the course due a crash on the previous run, she crossed the line 10.88 sec behind German gold medallist Anna Schaffelhuber, with three of the seven-strong field failing to finish.

"I just lost my balance through that triple," Pendergast said.

"It was a bit bumpy through that area and if you lose your edge on a sits-ski it's quite hard to recover from it.

"I guess I'm just happy to get this one out of the way given it's the one I'm most nervous about, especially with the speed.

"I'll take the good bits from this and come into the super-G tomorrow.

"That does hurt to know it was so close. But it's just one of the risks of the sport."

Men's skiers Mitch Gourley, Jonty O'Callaghan (standing), Sam Tait and Mark Soyer (sitting) will also compete on Saturday.