Cardrona 2018 ends with Ulbing and Loginov claiming PSL gold

06 September 2018 04:42
Double gold medal winner Dmitry Loginov (RUS)
Double gold medal winner Dmitry Loginov (RUS) -

Cardrona (NZL) - The Cardrona 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships came to a close on Thursday with an exciting day of parallel slalom action at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, where Austria’s Daniela Ulbing stymied a Russian sweep of the ladies podium by claiming gold, and Dmitry Loginov once again lead a Russian sweep of the men’s podium with his second gold in two days. 

After taking a bronze and a silver at the Klinovec 2017 junior worlds, Ulbing went one further in 2017 by stepping up to claim gold at the Sierra Nevada 2017 World Championships, becoming the youngest-ever ladies’ PSL gold medalist in the process. 

Despite this wealth of hardware earned in high-stakes situations, Elbing struggled somewhat in Wednesday’s parallel giant slalom event, finishing seventh. On Thursday, however, she was able to shake off the previous day’s disappointment to overcome the challenges from a tough Russian squad and claim the gold. 

“I’m really happy about this result today,” said Ulbing, “It’s special to win here at the junior world championships. It’s amazing for me. I felt really comfortable today and I just wanted to have fun, so first place is really cool.”

Ulbing was the lone outlier on a day when the stacked Russian squad once again claimed five of the six available podium spots across the ladies’ and men’s podiums. Perhaps even more impressively, the Russians showed their impressive team depth by placing two different athletes on the ladies’ podium than had appeared there in the previous day’s PGS competition, with Anastasia Kurochkina and Elena Boltaeva claiming the silver and bronze, respectively.

Over on the men’s side, the Russians pulled off the impressive feat of becoming the first nation to sweep both the PGS and PSL events at the same junior world championships, with Dmitry Loginov once again leading the way.

Loginov topped qualifying again on Thursday and appeared essentially untouchable from start to end of his two days of competition at Cardrona 2018, and the 18-year-old now holds three JWC gold medals.

After a bronze medal performance in the PGS, Loginov’s teammate Ilia Vitugov stepped up a level in the PSL competition to take silver, while Iaroslav Stepanko again illustrated the Russia team’s depth by becoming the eighth athlete from the nation to claim a medal at Cardrona 2018 with a bronze-winning performance. 

With their massive push in the final days of competition the Russians put up a strong challenge in the battle for the Marc Hodler trophy, given to the top nation across all events at every junior world championships. However, at the end of the day the USA would prevail with 104 overall points to the Russian team’s 91. Third overall would go to Japan, who finished with 79 points.