The second and final day of the 2021 FIS Snowboard Alpine World Championships went down on Tuesday in extraordinary fashion, as Sofia Nadyrshina (RSF) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) took victories in the parallel slalom event, while putting some impressive milestones into history of alpine snowboarding.
For the second straight day the organising committee in Rogla rose to the occasion and provided a world-class course and competition venue, while the weather played along just one more time with perfect blue skies and top snow conditions, allowing the world’s best riders to deliver an exciting showcase of top snowboard racing.
Starting with the women’s event it was Sofia Nadyrshina, who after claiming PGS’s silver medal on Monday, stepped things up a notch on Tuesday and went for gold to become the youngest World Champion in snowboard alpine history, at the age of 17.
Nadyrshina was on a mission all day long, setting the fastest time already in qualification rounds, just to storm through her final heats, besting Sabine Schoeffmann (AUT) and Julia Dujmovits (AUT), before coming with a little redemption to Selina Joerg (GER) in the semi-finals.
Then in the big final match-up Nadyrshina went against the reining World Cup champion Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (GER), and while the German riders did all she could to challange Nadyrshina in fight for gold, the 17-year-old was simply unbeatable on the day.
Right from the starting gate, Nadyrshina quickly build up a visible advantage, forcing Hofmeister to chase her from behind. Hofmeister did try to close the gap, but a couple of tiny mistakes would result in Nadyrshina actually increasing the gap so much that she was able to raise her hand to celebrate the victory with two more gates to go in the race.
“I just couldn’t be any happier right now,” said Nadyrshina through a translator after claiming her second World Championships medal in Rogla, “It’s hard to put it into words, because it’s just my first World Championships start and to win two medals here is just so unbelievable.”
With Nadyrshina on top of the podium, consequently Hofmeister finished the competition with a silver medal, for her career’s second World Championships top-3 finish.
Monday’s winner from PGS event Selina Joerg (GER) rounded out the women’s podium in third place after coming victorious against Megan Farrel (CAN) in the small final.
Things were equally exciting over in the men’s portion of the PSL competition, where Benjamin Karl wrote history as he claimed his fifth World Championships gold medal, taking sole place atop the men’s all-time world championships’ winner ranking in the process.
In the big final match-up Karl faced his long time teammate and friend Andreas Prommegger, making it a third time that the Austrian duo met to fight for world champs gold. And while it was Prommegger, who came atop of this rivalry twice in 2017 in Sierra Nevada, this time it was Karl, who managed to out-stretch his teammate on the finish line and snagged the win by just 0.09 sec.
“It was a long-time goal to win five World Championships gold medal,” said Karl after the awards ceremony, “And I had to wait over eight years since my last victory in Stoneham, so I’m really, really happy right now. The goal was always the same, but with the course of time you realise that it might be not possible to actually fulfil it in a lifetime, so the feeling after crossing the finish line today and knowing that I’m the World Champions is probably the most unbelievable moment in my career.”
With Karl in first, Prommegger completed the 1-2 punch for the Austrian Snowboard Team with a silver medal, while Monday’s winner Dmitry Loginov (RSF) finished the competition in third place after edging out his teammate Andrey Sobolev in the men’s small final.
With the 2021 FIS Snowboard Alpine World Championships in the books, Rogla is now gearing up to host the PGS World Cup finals later this week on Saturday, March 6.