‘Nasty fall’: Heartbreak for Aussie flag bearer

Badenhorst. Badenhorst is ranked No.1 in snowboard cross.
Badenhorst. Badenhorst is ranked No.1 in snowboard cross.

AUSTRALIA flag bearer Joany Badenhorst is a shock withdrawal from the 2018 Winter Paralympics after crashing out in a "nasty" training accident.

Incredibly, the 23-year-old Griffith snowboarder was also ruled out of the Sochi Games four years ago after also tumbling in near identical circumstances.

The withdrawal is a huge blow for Australia's medal hopes given the talented amputee was ranked No.1 in the world for snowboard cross and third for banked slalom.

Joany Badenhorst leads the Australian team during the opening ceremony.
Joany Badenhorst leads the Australian team during the opening ceremony.

It also means Badenhorst has now been to the Winter Paralympics twice, and still not competed.

"It's a case of lightening striking twice in the same place," Australia's chef de mission Nick Dean said.

"The only difference this time around is that she's at the top of her game.

"So I'm devastated, everyone is devastated."

Asked about the accident, in which Badenhorst injured the stump above her left prosthetic, Dean added: "It was a nasty fall.

"I know there were people up there taking videos of it.

"She is now no chance of competing.

"It's just incredible bad luck."

Bizarrely, the Australian Winter Paralympic team also lost its flag bearer four years, when amputee alpine skier Cameron Rahles-Rahbula broke his leg in a training crash broke his leg during a training crash.

Topics:  crash flag bearer joany badenhorst paralympics pyeongchang winter paralympics

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