History made as Jennifer and Menna clinch gold

Jennifer Kehoe and Menna Fitzpatrick became Britain's most decorated winter paralympians when taking gold in Pyeongchang.

Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 10:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 11:00 am
Great Britain's Menna Fitzpatrick (right) and her guide Jennifer Kehoe (left) celebrate winning the Women's Slalom, Visually Impaired at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre during day nine of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 18, 2018. See PA story PARALYMPICS Skiing. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

The pair had already enjoyed a successful competition in South Korea, with two silvers in the super combined and giant slalom respectively, along with a bronze in the super-G.

And then they secured Great Britain’s first triumph at the Winter Paralympics in the women’s visually impaired slalom.

The duo cut it finely, finishing 0.66 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova and Natalia Subrtova to land Great Britain’s second-ever gold medal of the Winter Paralympics.

Jennifer, whose father Simon Clarke resides in Clitheroe, is the guide for visually impaired ski racer Menna, from Macclesfield, who went in to the final run with a 0.66 seconds deficit to her Slovakian counterpart.

However, they picked up the momentum to top the standings and etch their names into the history books, with their rivals unable to better their time, missing out on their fifth gold medals of the Games in the process.

Great Britain culminated the Games in 13th place with one gold medal, four silvers and two bronze.

Jennifer started skiing when she was nine after her family moved to Switzerland and her school ran an annual ski camp to the Alps.

Her first experience of guiding was in 2013 when she worked with fellow PyeongChang 2018 teammate Millie Knight, but she was injured prior to Sochi and therefore unable to guide Millie at the Games.

A serving Army Officer in the Royal Engineers, Jennifer has been released for her military duties for two years to train as a full-time athlete and guide for Menna – whom she paired with in September 2015.

In 2016 Menna and Jen became the first Brits to win overall World Cup gold and, in 2017, they won bronze in the giant slalom at the World Championships in Italy, adding fourth in the Super-G and Slalom, and fifth in Downhill and Super combined.