Isabella Laboeck and Benjamin Karl clinch Parallel Giant Slalom World Championships title
Isabella Laboeck (GER) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) have won the first medal decision of the 10th FIS Snowboard World Championships second weekend in Stoneham, Quebec, Canada, taking home Gold in the parallel giant slalom race today.
In the women's final, the 26-years-old celebrated her career's biggest success by beating Julia Dujmovits (AUT).
Given the World Cup results so far – Laboeck never finished on top – it was an unexpected win but on the other hand a well deserved Gold because the Bavarian rider was the only girl to master the 540 meters long course without any mistakes.
As a result, she crossed the finish line in the finals in first position, being overwhelmed by her feelings, immediately falling on her back like a billy witch.
“A dream came true today. I always was hoping to be on top and listen to the national anthem once. That it worked out today, me becoming a World Champion, is unbelievable.
I was close to win a World Cup several times but every time there was just a tiny little bit missing. But I knew I have it in me and I have worked hard for it.”
But not only for the fourth ever German to win WCS Gold herself. Also for her older brother Dominik who died ten years ago in a car accident.
“This Gold is for my brother. I swore to myself to win the World Championships for him. Finally having done this means a lot to me.”
Her fellow country woman Amelie Kober (GER) won Bronze and thus completed the best ever result of the German women's team at World Championships.
Karl becomes Mr. Stoneham
On the men's side, Karl became the first man to successfully defend the PGS World Championships title.
As a result, he also drew level with Jasey Jay Anderson who was the only man – till today – to have won four World Championships Gold medals.
“I really like it here in Quebec. It just makes click when I arrive. Stoneham is for me what Wimbledon was for Boris Becker.”
However, it wasn't that obvious that Karl could be the man to beat again in Stoneham, where he won four of the last five World Cups, as his last results weren't as good as in previous years.
“It was a hopeful but not expected journey. I was hoping to win but couldn't really say that because my last results weren't good at all.
But I worked a lot and recognized over the course of the past months that I could do it again.”
The World Champs continue with the snowboard cross finals women and men tomorrow at 11 AM EST (5 PM CET).