The first medals in snowboard cross were awarded today, on March 23 at the FIS Junior World Champs 2021.
24 women from 12 countries of the world participated in the event: Russia, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, France, Romania, Germany, Slovakia and Korea.
Sara Strnadova (Czech Republic), Anna Simakova (Russia) and Margaux Herpin (France), who won their races both in the 1/8 finals and in the 1/4 finals, had a great qualification.
Strnadova and Simakova made it to the same semi-finals. The Czech snowboarder was in the lead for almost the entire race. The Russian athlete competed for the silver medal with Ninke Paul from the Netherlands. However, on the second half of the course, Chloe Passeur from France fell and caught Simakova. As a result, Strnadova finished first with a great advantage, and Ninke Paul became the second finalist.
Margaux Herpin (France) won the second semi-final with a noticeable advantage. Anna-Maria Haller (Austria) was just 0.08 seconds ahead of Ksenia Kachalova (Russia) in the run for the second place.
The final race was really hard. Haller took the lead from the start. But already on the second bend Herpin bypassed her. But at the next turn they were both overtaken by Strnadova. End to end these three sthletes run to the finish line. And yet Sarah Strnadova (Czech Republic) turned out to be the fastest. The silver medal was won by Margaux Herpin (France), the bronze – by Anna-Maria Galler (Austria).
World Championship winner Sara Strnadova cannot hide her emotions: “I’m incredibly happy! I didn’t expect this! But it turned out I can do this! Great race, tense struggle, great course! Thank you Krasnoyarsk for this. Of course, I will celebrate my victory, but not for long. Tomorrow we will have a team race … “.
Ksenia Kachalova from Russia won the small final and took the final 5th place, Anna Simakova – 7th place, Elizaveta Kopteva – 9th place, Margarita Demidova – 13th place, Valeria Komnatnaya – 17th place, Nadezhda Pleshakova – 18th place.
Thirty three athletes from 15 countries took part in the junior snowboard cross: Italy, Great Britain, Brazil, Korea, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Slovakia, Austria, Spain, Romania, Japan, Czech Republic and Russia.
It is interesting that the semi-final turned out to be very international – 8 athletes from 8 countries. In the first semi-final, France and Korea lost their representatives. Moreover, the Korean Jin-Woo fought for the second place with Alvaro Romero from Spain to the very last, but had to give up.
Alexander Atylin from Russia participated in the second semi-final which turned out to be dramatic. Local fans expected a lot, since he represents the Krasnoyarsk snowboard school. Shunsuke Kawamura from Japan collided with him on the course, trying to squeeze forward on a bend. As a result, Felix Povondre from Austria and Huv Hightingale from Great Britain got to the final without much struggle.
The main race from the first meters was led by Eliot Grondin (Canada). Throughout the race, Povondra was literally pursuing him, and Romero as well joined the pursuit in the end. However, Grondin’s finish effort became a surprise to his rivals and brought him a gold medal. To determine the silver medalist, they had to use the photo finish. As a result, the second place was taken by Felix Povondra (Austria), bronze went to Romero Alvaro (Spain).
Eliot Grondin admitted that the rivals were very strong: “I have already participated in the world championships twice. Today I ended my career as a junior. Today was the last effort. It was a difficult day and I am happy to win. We had a very intense fight. Of course, I came here as a top one, but the opponents were also very strong. I took run after run and did not think about anything else, I was completely focused on the course. I am very happy to be the winner today! “
The Russians in the final ranking took the following places: Alexander Atylin – 8, Daniil Donskikh – 10, Evgeny Genin – 22, Arseny Tomin – 24, Vadim Tuev – 28.
The FIS Junior World Champs 2021 continues. In the evening program, snowboarders will compete for medals in the half-pipe. The competition schedule is published on the ensib.ru website. The tickets for the FIS Junior World Champs 2021 can be purchased at krs.kassir.ru on the events page.