Ledecka and Prommegger prevail in world champs parallel giant slalom
After scoring Silver and Gold, in yesterday's parallel slalom event, respectively, Ester Ledecka (CZE) and Andreas Prommegger (AUT) came out victorious in today's parallel giant slalom race of the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships.
Ledecka earned the title ahead of Patrizia Kummer (SUI) and Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) while Prommegger once again beat teammate Benjamin Karl in the repetition of yesterday's men's final. Nevin Galmarini (SUI) rounded out the podium as third.
As yesterday's first of two alpine snowboard events of the 12th FIS Snowboard World Championships wouldn't have had enough in store to talk about for a couple of days, the world's best raceboarders took it serious on the race slope under a blue bird sky again to add some more chapters to the history books.
And of course, it was the men's ultimate heat which impressed the most as both finalists had been the main actors of yesterday's event already.
Sharing the room when on tour for quite some years now, being long-time friends who push each other in every competition as well as training session as soon as the season's preparations kick off for Team Snowboard Austria in fall, Andreas Prommegger and Benjamin Karl delivered once again the best proof why this sport is as exciting as it gets.
Going down the parallel flagged course head to head from start to bottom, Prommegger crossed the finish line only 0.12 seconds ahead of Karl therefore becoming the third ever alpine snowboarder to win both, the PSL and PGS event, in one year.
So far, only Jasey Jay Anderson (Whistler, Canada, 2005) and Benjamin Karl (La Molina, Spain, 2011) had been able to pull off this feat.
“I don't know how it feels to be a double world champion, it will take some time to realise this. But as everybody comes by I guess it has to be something special”, he joked.
“But seriously, I came here to win a medal for sure. Everyone who knows my history knows how much I deserved this as I came close quite a few times to medal. But you know, you cannot force it. At major events it just has to click. And that's what just happened.
In addition, it was the second time in a row that the father of two from St. Johann denied Karl to becoming the first ever male snowboarder to win five world championships titles.
Currently, Karl, who has claimed at least one medal in every major event he has attended in since 2009, is sitting on the shared first rank of the multi wins table together with Anderson.
However, the father of one took it as it came and didn't look back: “You know, I still have enough time, I'm only 31 years now. Retirement is a question of success not of your age. And with results like those here, I guess I can give it a few more shots although it's a pity of course as you don't get those chances often. But I have nothing to complain.”
Same for Galmarini.
After having been bumped off the podium yesterday as fourth being defeated by only a few hundredths of a second in both, the semi and the battle for third, the Swiss top racer finally took his first world championships medal in his tenth start beating Radoslav Yankov (BUL) in the small final of the men's competition.
“Placing fourth yesterday, man, the pressure was intense today. Of course you try to edit yesterday out. It has been a new day, and I knew that I'm a bit better in the PGS event, but nevertheless, it was really hard yesterday, so hard you would like to bite in your board.
So, I'm happy that I took a medal, and I'm proud of myself that I was able to get something positive out of yesterday. Bronze is like Gold for me.”
Over in the women's event, it was Ledecka who earned the Gold one day after being awarded with a precious Silver.
The 2015 PSL world champion from the Czech Republic, who has been competing in the St. Moritz FIS Ski World Championships last month already, earned her career's second beating 2014 Olympic PGS champion Patrizia Kummer (SUI) on the line with the tiny advantage of 0.19 seconds.
“This is like a dream come true. This is really great. It was my goal to compete in both world championships this year, skiing and snowboarding, and this is a great bonus. I have two medals. I'm happy,” Ledecka said.
More than ten years after snatching Gold in the 2007 world champs in Arosa (SUI), Ekaterina Tudegesheva held the upper hand on Ramona Hofmeister (GER) in the battle for third earning her fourth world championships medal.
The Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships continue tomorrow with the Big Air semis (1 PM CET) and finals (7:30 PM CET). Click here for an update on the TV times.