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. bg ski news : Slaloms for the Balkan Open Cup Bansko 2004 - 08 April 2004 - 19:31
27 March 2004, 22:54

ALPINE SKIING. 27 March 2004, Bansko. The first 2 days of the Balkan Open Cup 2004 in Bansko just rounded off. After the two starts were put off until 26-27 March, there was one more change - the competition started with 2 slaloms, instead of the two giant slaloms, foreshown in the national calendar.
The bad weather conditions (the dense fog, merged with rain) couldn't prevent or delay the women's start at 9.30 on the famous slope "Alberto Tomba".  First women measured their skills consecutively on the two courses, set in parallel. Before the second run the gates where re-set, so that men and women could race on different courses.

Fastest on the slalom was Sofia Akhmeteli from Georgia with a total time 1 min 27.35 sec. More than 2 sec behind reminded one of the top Balkan Alpine racers - Jelena Lolovic from Serbia. Third, with a difference more than 3 sec, finished Dessi Djurova from Bulgaria. Unfortunately Maria Kirkova dropped out the first run with a spectacular fall and the other representative of the National Bulgarian Team - Boriana Zlatareva, took the 5-th position.
In the men's race, the slalom specialist Vassilis Dimitriadis (1:31.20 min) took the overall title before the famous Drago Grubelnik from Slovenia (+1.62 sec). The third place seized Stefan Georgiev, the best Bulgarian Alpine Racer (+1.93 sec), right before Tomas Tucek, Czech Republic (3.29 sec). The other top Slovenian competitor - Rene Mlekuz remained on the 5-th position (+3.62 sec) ahead of the high class skier - Staneley Hayer from Czech Republic (+3.75 sec). The participation of the World Cup-class competitors from Slovenia and Czech Republic was of a great honor for the Bulgarian Ski Sport Racing.
The second slalom day, 27-th, the weather didn't change much. Although the rain from the last day transformed in snow during the night and the course was very well prepared, the high temperatures turned fast the new snow into a moist snow. The fog was even denser that day. Considering the weather conditions, the Jury decided to make another change - first raced men and than - women. Men's Price Giving Ceremony occurred right after the men's runs. After they raced, women also took their prices.

In the second women's slalom, Jelena Iolovic extended her lead over the fastest from the first slalom Akhmeteli from Georgia (+2.48 sec). Third classified Maria Kirkova (+3.30 sec). Dessi Djurova failed in the first run and Borjana Zlatareva left fifth again. In the second men's run, the winner was again Dimitriadis with a total time 1 min 25.06 sec. Stefan Georgiev (+0.96 sec) skied faster than Mlekuz (+1.55 sec), who stayed third. In the second run Grubelnik fell down and didn't finish. Staneley Hayer  classified forth and the young Bulgarian racer, Sediankov took the fifth position, 2.06 sec behind Dimitriadis. 

No matter the bad weather conditions, the competition was very well organized and directed. Bulgaria was a host of many countries, which haven't raced here for the past many years - Slovenia, Czech Republic, Turkey and Cyprus, and also teams which traditionally participate - Serbia and Motenegro, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Bosnia, Georgia and of course Bulgaria.  

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