24 March 2021

Russian snowboarders win first gold at the FIS Junior World Champs 2021

The first medals in snowboard cross among mixed teams were awarded on March 24 at the FIS Junior World Champs 2021.

Teams from Romania and the Czech Republic-3 competed for the place in the quarterfinals.  The Romanian won. In the quarterfinals, 16 teams were divided into 4 groups. The best two reached the final. In each race, men started first, followed by the ladies, with the handicap obtained by their partners.

In the first quarterfinals, Austria-1, Korea, Romania and Switzerland-3 went to the start. All four athletes fell down in their run. The first to get out of it was Jin Woo (Korea) and brought a three-second lead to his sister Subeen Woo. Although she lost it at her stage, but Subeen still finished second, losing only to Anna-Maria Galler from Austria.

In the second quarterfinals, the Czech Republic-1, Switzerland-1, France-2 and Austria-2 finished together within 0.8 seconds. In the women’s competition, the yesterday’s snowboard-cross champion Sara Strnadova won by a landslide. Combating for the second place, Seraina Ris (Switzerland) and Chloe Passerat (France),collided just before the finish line. They immediately stood up, but the Swiss crossed the finish line a little earlier.

In the third quarter-final, both Alexander Atylin and Ksenya Kachalova won their races, as a result, Russia-1 was ahead of Germany by almost 2.5 seconds, and was 3.5 seconds faster then Czech Republic-2, and 8 seconds faster than Russia-3.

The fourth semi-final was similar to the second one. The juniors of France-1, Italy, Slovakia and Russia-2 fit into half a second. The ladies’ race had a serious lead again. Only this time it was two snowboarders  Margaux Herpin (France) and Valeriya Komnatnaya (Russia).

In the first semifinal, the juniors of Austria-1, Korea and Switzerland-1 finished almost simultaneously within just 0.1 seconds! Czech Republic-1 lagged 0.35 seconds behind the leader. But again irrepressible Sara Strnadova from the Czech Republic took the first place and lead her team to the big final. The second ticket to the grand finals in the the battle against Seraina Ris was won by Anna-Maria Galler (Austria).

In the second semifinal after the finish of the juniors, Daniil Donskikh and Alexander Atylin separated their teams to different poles: Russia-2 was first, Russia-1 became fourth, 0.68 seconds back. Valeriya Komnatnaya managed to keep the first position of Russia-2. Ksenya Kachalova quickly passed Florina Pohl (Germany), and competed desperately with Margaux, but still lost.

The small finals showed, in fact, little of the fight for the final fifth place. Alexander Atylin won his race, and Ksenya Kachalova laid the groundwork  already in the rhythm section and further were just increasing her advantage. As a result, Russia-1 won the small finals with almost a 3-second advantage over its closest rival. Switzerland-1 was the sixth, Germany was the seventh, Korea was the eighth.

And there was the finals. Daniil Donskikh began his part of the race for gold by joining in third. However, then he began to attack. Guillaume Herpin tried to resist for a long time. But Donskikh overtook him at the finish winning 0.19 seconds. Felix Powondra (Austria) lagged behind and lost 0.21 seconds, Bruno Tatarko (Czech Republic) – 0.29.

In the women’s run, everyone was waiting for the rapid attack of Sara Strnadova. And she, indeed, rather quickly overtook Anna-Maria Geller and Margaux Herpin. However, Valeriya Komnatnaya started well and run unmistakably along the course. Strnadova made several desperate attempts to get the Russian, but Valeriya did not let her opponent get too close.

As a result, Valeriya Komnatnaya finished first and brought Russia-2 a gold medal. By the way, this was the first gold medal of the Russian snowboarders at this championship.

Strnadova, apparently, was so exhausted by the pursuit of the Russian that missed Herpin’s attack at the finish line, and the Czech Republic-1 won only bronze. France-1 won silver.

Daniil Donskikh and Valeriya Komnatnaya noted that the fight for medals was really hard.

Valeria: “It was tough, exciting, but we pulled ourselves together and won. To tell the truth, we had known from the very beginning that we would win, but of course we kept silent. It was a secret. It turned out very cool!  We trained a lot to do that, and I even cried a lot as well… The course is very cool, I really like it. Everything has been perfectly smoothed, all is perfectly even.”

Daniel: “The training for this world championship lasted for two years since it was canceled last year. The competition was great, the guys are not standing still either, everyone is making progress. And it was very cool to compete, there was a real fight. Team races are rare. Here we could somehow find a common tongue, so to speak, a common wave, and brought the gold medal. And even more, it is not this often when we see such good courses. Indeed, they did a great job here. “Thank you!

The Herpin brother and sister admitted that their dream had come true.

Margaux: “It was a very difficult race, but very cool nonetheless. The Russian team performed very well. But we did our best and won a medal. It was our dream to be on the podium together, as one team. It is our first time in Russia, in Siberia. Of course, we are very far from home, but we like to be here together. “

Guillaume: “I am very happy to share this victory with my younger sister. The course is very good, a good one for our last race in this season. I am very happy that we did it. “

Bruno Tatarko and Sara Strnadova disagreed a bit about their performance.

Bruno: “I am quite happy with the result, it was an amazing race. We did our 100 per cent best in this competition. This is an amazing feeling, even though we are the third. In the future, we want to take part in the Olympic Games and this is our goal.

Sarah: “We could definitely have done better, but I made some mistakes.”

The FIS Junior World Champs 2021 continues. Tomorrow, March 25, snowboarders will compete for two sets of medals in the parallel giant slalom. Follow the competition schedule atensib.ru. The tickets for the FIS Junior World Champs 2021 can be purchased at krs.kassir.ru on the events page.