Austrian double win at alpine snowboard World Cup opener
Ina Meschik (AUT) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) have claimed victory in this season's first event of the alpine snowboard World Cup tour which saw the top-4 qualifiers of both, women and men, dominating the knock out rounds staged in the single run format.
While Meschik earned her career's first in the parallel giant slalom race organised on the Pra di Tori slope of Carezza (ITA), it was the 15th triumph for four-time world champion Karl.
Meschik edged off second best qualifier Ester Ledecka (CZE) to the second rank in a heart-beat finale securing victory with an advantage of only 0.07 seconds.
“Of course I'm very happy as this was my first ever World Cup victory,” Meschik said. “It was a great day, everything worked out well. I did an awesome job during the trainings, and I was able to keep the momentum. Now, I'm looking forward to the parallel slalom in Cortina.”
Alena Zavarzina (RUS) rounded out the podium as third crossing the finish line only 0.02 seconds ahead of 2014 Olympic PSL champion Julia Dujmovits (AUT).
In the men's event, things weren't getting as tight as in the women's finals with Karl beating top qualifier Andrey Sobolev (RUS) in the big finals with a comfortable lead of 0.45 seconds bringing home his first victory since Carezza 2011.
“My last World Cup win dates back some five years, and it was right here on this slope in Carezza. Now, I'm back. This is great. During today's inspection I noticed right away that the conditions and the course setting would play into my hands. It was an incredible race,” Karl stated.
“When I was at the start for the big final, I had nothing to lose. I went all in, and it worked out fine. I'm extremely happy,” he added also hoping to keep the momentum for Saturday.
“I haven't found the right set-up for the psl yet but with the win here in the back, I think I can be able to earn another good result in Cortina.”
Alpine snowboard overall World Cup title defender Radoslav Yankov (BUL), who was last season's winner at Carezza, took third therefore preventing the first ever Korean snowboard World Cup podium in history since 2007, and the first one ever of a male snowboarder from Korea.
However, fourth-ranked Sang-ho Lee, the 2015 PGS junior world champion, became the first ever Korean race boarder to reach a small final on the World Cup tour.
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour will continue in two days with a parallel slalom staged under the lights in Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA).