Paul and Vedder on top in Cardrona JWC snowboard cross

27 August 2018 22:47
Jake Vedder (USA) and Eliot Grondin (CAN)
Jake Vedder (USA) and Eliot Grondin (CAN) -
Winter Games NZ

Cardrona (NZL) - The first of two days of snowboard cross competition at the 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships in Cardrona (NZL) took place on Monday, with the top 16-20 year old SBX athletes in the world battling for medals under calm, clear Kiwi skies.

The ladies' competition saw the most experienced rider in the field and one of the most successful JWC athletes of all time asserting her dominance one last time at the Junior level, as Russia's Kristina Paul took home her third-straight junior worlds title.

After qualifying fifth overall on Sunday, Paul topped her quarter final and semi-final heats on her way to big final where she would line up alongside Livia Molodyh (USA), Sophie Hediger (SUI) and Emily Boyce (AUS). There she would sweep to victory with relative ease, followed by Molodyh in the silver medal position and Hediger in bronze.

"I'm very happy to finish my junior career so well," said Paul following the race.

Over in the men's side it was Jake Vedder of the USA who would take the gold medal, followed by Canada's Eliot Grondin, as two of the competition favourites went 1-2 in from the 1/8 right through to an action packed big final. 

Bronze medal finisher Mike Lacroix and Grondin tried to sum up the action that went down in the final hear.

“I hear someone say ‘woah’ next to me, I look over and his board’s right by my head," said Lacroix "And then we made contact going in to turn five and I went down.”

"And then the German (Maximilian Rathgeb) went shooting by us into second but somehow crashed in the last bank," added Grondin "I don't know what happened to him there. It was a crazy race, but it was fun."

Action at the 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships continues on at the cross course on Tuesday with the SBX team event the only competition on the day's schedule at Cardrona for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ.