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French Paralympians strike gold in Pyeongchang

media Marie Bochet of France competes in standing downhill at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics REUTERS/Paul Hanna

The French team has got off to a glittering start at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, with Marie Bochet and Benjamin Daviet claiming the country’s first golds.

Bochet, who skis with a prosthetic left arm, took the gold in the standing downhill category. The win is the fifth title in her Paralympic career, after taking four golds in Sochi back in 2014.

"Medals are even more beautiful when they are shared!" she tweeted after the event.

The 24-year-old is still to compete in four other downhill events.

Andrea Rothfuss of Germany and the Canadian Mollie Jepsen claimed the silver and bronze respectively.

Bauchet takes silver

For the men, France’s young hopeful Arthur Bauchet took silver in the standing downhill. The 17-year-old came in behind Markus Salcher of Switzerland.

In the 7.5km standing biathlon, 24 year-old Benjamin Daviet brought home France’s second gold of the games. He came in ahead of the Canadian Mark Arendz and Ihor Reptyukh of Ukraine.

France has 12 athletes and three guides competing in Pyenongchang.

They hope to equal or better their medal haul of five gold, three silver and four bronze medals which saw them finish 5th in the table at Sochi four years ago.

Slovakian wins first gold

Earlier in the day, the Slovakian skier Henrieta Farkasova claimed the first gold of the games.

Farkasova, who took gold in the women’s vision impaired downhill skiing event, beat Millie Knight of Great Britain by a little under a second in 1 minute 29.72 seconds.

The win takes the Slovakian to six golds in Paralympic vision impaired skiing.

Eleonor Sana of Belgium took the bronze medal, finishing the course in 1min 31.60 sec.

In other events on Saturday, the USA took both gold and silver in the biathlon sit-ski, with Kendall Gretcsch coming first and Oskana Masters second.

The USA has by far the biggest delegation in Pyeongchang with with 69 athletes. They have already won three golds, one silver and a bronze.

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