Valova and Kharuk on top in Rogla PSL junior worlds
Mykhailo Kharuk and Maria Valova © Miha Matavz/FIS Snowboard

Rogla (SLO) - Day two of competition at the Rogla (SLO) 2019 FIS Snowboard Alpine Junior World Championships saw parallel slalom racing take to the track of the Slovenian resort, where Russia’s Maria Valova and Mykhailo Kharuk of the Ukraine claimed the gold medals.

 

After finishing a disappointing 17th in Tuesday’s parallel slalom competition, Valova was able to step it up in her specialty PSL event on Wednesday to claim her first junior world champs gold and her third total medal, adding to her Klinovec 2017 silver and Cardrona 2018 bronze.

Second place on Wednesday went to Tsubaki Miki of Japan, who earned some redemption after finishing just off the podium in fourth in Tuesday’s PGS race. Just 15 years old and already competing on the World Cup circuit, Miki promises to be a rider to watch for a long time.

And, finally, the ladies’ podium was rounded out by Tuesday’s PGS champion Anastasia Koruchkina (RUS) in third, for her third career junior worlds medal.

After Tuesday’s parallel giant slalom competition saw Russia take four out of a possible six medals, many were prepared for more of the same on PSL competition on Wednesday come time for the men’s race. However, in a somewhat surprising outcome, Wednesday’s race was the first time since the Erzurum (TUR) 2013 competition that none of the Russian junior men were able to make it on to the podium.

Instead, it was Mykhailo Kharuk stepping up with the best race of his young career so far to take the first ever men’s alpine snowboard junior world champs gold medal for the Ukraine. And, on a persona level, Wednesday’s race was an important one for Kharuk, earning him a guaranteed spot on the World Cup next season. 

Second place and the silver medal went to the first of two Canadians to hit the Rogla PSL podium, as Michael Nazwaski earned his top international result on Wednesday. Nazwaski was able to share the podium with his teammate Jamie Behan, who bested Russia’s Ilia Vitugov in their small final battle to take the bronze. 

Nazwaski and Behan’s medals were the first for Canada at the junior world championships since the Erzurum 2013 PSL, and it was the first time in JWCs history that two Canadians had stood on the alpine snowboard podium together.

Action in Rogla closes out on Thursday with the mixed team junior world championships competition, with action hitting the slopes in Slovenia at 8:45 CET. Live streaming will be available HERE.

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