Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli and Matthew Morison grab Gold at season’s first Parallel Giant Slalom
Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli and Matthew Morison have secured victory in the first Parallel Giant Slalom of the 2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. The Swiss rider successfully competed against current World Cup leader Amelie Kober from Germany in the ladies' final of the race which was scheduled for the cancelled event in Limone Piemonte, Italy. In the battle for third it was Kimiko Zakreski (CAN) who crossed the finish line ahead of Austria's Claudia Riegler. On the men's side, Canada's Matthew Morison also relegated the bearer of the yellow World Cup leader jersey, Benjamin Karl (AUT), to the second spot. Mathieu Bozzetto (FRA) who edged off Andreas Prommegger from Austria in the small final rounded out the podium as third.
At the first out of four competitions taking place at the first ever World Cup stop in Telluride, also the sole on US-American soil, the total of 115 riders coming from more than 20 nations not only had to proof endurance but also patience. Due to some technical problems the qualifiers had to be delayed which also led into a postponing of the K.o.-rounds of the top 16 ladies and men. A fact which was anything but a good thing for later on men's winner as Matthew Morison stated: "Waiting is not really my thing. It kind of throws me away."
However, he got better and better into the race with every run he did. "I fought back with every single gate, with every single turn. But I didn't expect this result as there are so many good riders who are all able to take home the win. But luckily I had some good runs and was pretty fast" the Burketon, Ontario, resident said. On his way to his fourth World Cup victory the 22-years-old first eliminated Justin Reiter (USA), then Patrick Bussler (GER) in the quarter finals before making it with a close lead against Mathieu Bozzetto (0.31sec) into the finals against Benjamin Karl who threw away all chances for a top podium result due to a riding mistake.
After the Austrian World Cup leader had catched up the little margin of 0.19 seconds of the first run he got shocked during a backside turn "which definitely took away all of my speed" the reigning Parallel Slalom World Champion analysed.
But although he had to accept defeat Benjamin Karl wasn't disappointed at all as he was able to celebrate a successful comeback from a four weeks lasting shank bone injury. "I was mountaineering when I suffered a very deep cut straight down to the bone, right there where you have contact with the boots. So I wasn't able to ride at all the last weeks and thus I'm very relieved that I brought home this nice result although I still recognise the wound. It was just a super day."
Maegert-Kohli full of joy and relief
The female reigning PSL World Champion Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli also experienced a perfect day after she had undergone several ups and downs over the past two seasons. After a break of two and a half years (Stoneham 2007) the 27-years-old Steffisburg resident was able to celebrate a PGS victory again, her career's fourth World Cup win in total. "I'm simply full of joy as it's a super good feeling to get rewarded for an intensive summer and autumn training." After her triumph the fifth ranked of the last Swiss nationals is positively looking ahead: "I was and still am very confident for this season."
The same for runner-up Amelie Kober from Germany who was able to tie on to her good season's early form after coming back from illness. "I'm very pleased with today." Especially as the 2006 Olympic Silver medallist secured the national norm for Vancouver 2010 in the first race of this winter. "It's awesome to clinch the needed top-8-result right now."