Marion Kreiner and Andreas Prommegger clinch Austrian double win in Olympic PGS rehearsal in Sochi
Marion Kreiner (AUT) and Andreas Prommegger (AUT) have won the Olympic parallel giant slalom test which was staged in Sochi today.
By winning the season's third FIS Snowboard World Cup in the “Extreme Park” Rosa Khutor, the two race boarders earned their home country a double win again with the last one dating back more than two years (PGS Telluride, CO, USA on Dec 15, 2011).
In the women's final which saw the top two qualifiers competing against each other, the 2010 Olympic Bronze medalist beat Amelie Kober (GER) with the tiny mere of only four hundredths thus celebrating her career's third World Cup win.
In the small final between two athletes who haven't been in the spotlight so far, it was Ariane Lavigne (CAN) taking third thus edging off Valeriya Tsoy (KAZ) to fourth.
“I worked hard to be on the podium again. It's even better to come out first. It's a super feeling which I enjoy,” said Kreiner.
Due to 1,000 World Cup points earned, Kreiner took over the PGS World Cup lead (1,690 points) as well as in the Parallel Overall World Cup ranking (2,400)
“It's nice to win again. Being in the World Cup lead is the icing on the cake. I'm just happy.”
Her rival in the finals Amelie Kober was also pleased, despite a very close loss.
“Losing by only four hundredths is OK. Maybe it was her revenge for Bad Gastein,” explained the 2006 Olympic Silver medalist who had beaten Kreiner in the PSL finals at Bad Gastein last January.
“However, results like this are good for our sport,” summed up Kober.
Prommegger back on track
On the men's side of things, the final wasn't as close as the one the women showcased but actually did bring the same outcome – an Austrian victory.
However, no one knows if Prommegger would have been the one to come out first today, if his team mate Ingemar Walder's bindings would have survived the tough conditions today.
“I'm really tired right now and did win my last runs just with my head.
It's unbelievable. We did five World Cup races so far and I won three of them. It's a nice quota. I'm feeling good and I have a good run in the World Cup although it was tough today,” said Prommegger.
While Prommegger brought home his season's third, his room mate celebrated the best result of his career - despite his bad luck in the finals.
“Of course it's joy which outweighs the disappointment. If I couldn't be happy with my career's best result, it would be embarrassing,” said Walder.
Clinching his career's eleventh, Prommegger now sits in first position of the PGS World Cup (2,400) and Parallel Overall World Cup (3,560) but the title defender knows that the road to the title is still a long one to carve down.
“The World Cup lead is a nice side aspect but nothing more. Fisch (Roland Fischnaller) had a small mistake in the first round today but is normally pretty strong. So I guess we will see a close battle again until the very last race.”
Especially as Fischnaller is only 170 points behind.
Rok Flander (SLO) who crossed the finish line ahead of Kaspar Fluetsch (SUI) in the battle for third rounded out the men's podium.
Photos: (c) GEPA pictures/Daniel Goetzhaber