Retieralm (AUT) - The ladies’ and men of the FIS Snowboard Cross Junior World Championships took to the world-renowned cross track in Austria’s Retieralm resort on Monday, where Germany’s Jana Fischer and France’s Loan Bozzolo took the gold medals in an exciting day of SBX action.
Already a veteran of World Cup competition dating back to the 2016/17 season, 19-year-old Fischer came into Reiteralm fresh off of her first career Europa Cup win just two weeks ago in Sunny Valley (RUS), and through both qualifications and finals it was clear that the momentum was still with her.
Fischer took top spot in Sunday’s qualification runs, and took top spot in her first heat, before Emily Boyce of Australia finally put some pressure on her by winning the semifinal heat.
In the big final Fischer and Boyce would meet the French duo of Chloe Passerat Alexia Queyrel, and there Fischer was able to once again assert her dominance, taking the gold medal with Passerat finishing with the silver in second and Boyce taking the bronze.
Over in the men’s competition it was two of the SBX world’s best and brightest young stars who were locked in an exciting battle over the last two days in Retieralm, as Loan Bozzolo and Eliot Grondin (CAN) took it right down to the wire in Monday’s finals.
Grondin was the top qualifier on Sunday in Reiteralm, putting down a first-run time that was nearly 7/10s of a second faster than his closest competitor Bozzolo.
However, while Grondin went into Monday’s finals as the favourite based on his outstanding qualifier run, come time for four-aside heats all bets are off in snowboard cross competition, and Bozzolo was able to get out front of Grondin in the big final and stay there despite the Canadian’s best efforts.
For 19-year-old Bozzolo, Monday’s JWC gold medal was just one more impressive step in the evolution of a rider who has been competing on the World Cup since he was just 17 and steadily improving since then.
For Grondin, the 2019 silver medal was his second-straight junior world’s runner-up result after he also claimed silver at the 2018 edition of the competition in New Zealand back in September.
In an historic performance, third place on the day went to Jin Woo of Korea , giving the Korean squad their first-ever SBX podium at a top-level international event.