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03 Февруари 2019 - 09:51
Thompson and Place claim golds in Utah 2019 ski cross thriller
Ski Cross: FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships 2019 in Solitude Mountain Resort, USA
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SKI CROSS. Freestyle skiing medal competition at the Utah 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships opened on Saturday with a truly thrilling ski cross finals, where Canada’s Marielle Thompson and France’s Francois Place claimed golds with a pair of gutsy performances at Solitude Mountain Resort.


Ladies' ski cross world champion Marielle Thompson (CAN) © Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom

Thompson came into Utah 2019 ranked second on the 2018/19 World Cup leaderboard behind Switzerland’s Fanny Smith, and the two 26-year-olds have a rivalry that dates back to Thompson’s first season on the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup tour in 2010/11. So perhaps it was no surprise then that the pair would provide us with the most exciting heat of the day in either the men’s or ladies’ races when they went toe-to-toe in the big final.

While the speedy Smith, who has been tough to catch when holding the lead throughout the season, sat out front through the top 3/4s of the big final, on Saturday Thompson was able to find another gear when it mattered most to reel in the Swiss skier.

Sitting in third, Thompson first made an outside pass on Baron, before repeating the outside overtaking move on Smith at the second-to-last corner, putting herself into a lead which she would bring home across the finish line for the victory to complete the crystal globe, Olympic gold, and world champs gold trifecta for her career.

“Going into the second-to-last corner I thought maybe I could generate some speed on the outside, and thankfully it worked out for me,” Thompson said at the post-event press conference, “Coming back this season (after missing all of the 2017/18 World Cup season) I feel like I’ve been building my skiing back up at every race. So to come here to the biggest stage of the season and come out on top, I’m overjoyed. And to all the people that helped me get back here, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“I tried to to treat every heat today like it was the final,” said Smith, sitting alongside Thompson, “All the girls today were skiing really well. The big final was close with all the girls. On the second-to-last corner I went in tight because I wanted to close the door on Marielle, but I wasn’t so good on my edges and she was smooth and made the pass. But in the end I’m happy with the way I skied today and with finishing second in a battle like that.”

France’s Place atop the men’s podium

In the men’s big final it was all Francois Place, as the 29-year-old who is only in his third season on the ski cross World Cup since moving over from the Alpine tour was able to improve upon the bronze medal he earned at the Sierra Nevada 2017 world championships by taking Utah 2019 gold at Solitude.

Out of the final feature of the tricky start section it appeared that the race would be over early for Place, as he boosted nearly twice as high as his competitors and landed awkwardly into the steep first straightaway.

However, Place was able to turn what initially looked like a miscalculation into an advantage, as he muscled both skis down underneath himself and jetted into the lead around the first corner, with Canadians Brady Leman and Kevin Drury falling in behind him and Alex Fiva (SUI) falling temporarily into fourth.

Fiva had a full head of steam though, easily passing Drury and moving up close on Leman. Unfortunately for Fiva all of that speed would result in him contacting Leman’s skis, slowing him down and allowing Drury to shoot back around the Swiss skier and back into third.

And that’s the way it would end, with Place claiming the men’s ski cross gold medal, Leman the silver, and Drury’s bronze medal performance capping a three-medal day for the Canadians.

“It was an incredible race today,” said Place at the presser, “It was a little tough this morning with the weather and the wind, but in the end it was a great day. To be the champ, it’s cool.”

“It’s been an a pretty amazing couple of season for me,” said Leman, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic gold medallist, “To win the Olympics in Korea after being fourth in Sochi was incredible, and I’ve been really close at the world champs before with a fifth and seventh, so to end up on the podium here is incredible. Ski cross is such a tough sport, and these big one-off races are so hard to be consistent at. Some people are able to step up at these events and some people struggle, and I’m happy to move on from being one of those people who struggle.

FIS freestyle
03 Feb 2019


 

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Следваща:
Отмениха и гигантския слалом на мъжете в Гармиш – 03 Февруари 2019 - 10:45
Ярл Магнус Рийбер спечели предсрочно Световната купа в северната комбинация – 03 Февруари 2019 - 18:20
Камил Стох с първа победа от март 2018 година – 03 Февруари 2019 - 20:45
Jacobellis and Dierdorff claim first ever snowboard cross mixed team world title – 04 Февруари 2019 - 09:28
Линдзи Вон: Исках да почувствам пистата – 04 Февруари 2019 - 16:55

Предходна:
Кобаяши спечели в Оберстдорф, Зографски остана предпоследен – 02 Февруари 2019 - 19:52
Шифрин е кралицата на Загреб – 02 Февруари 2019 - 15:47
Спускането на мъжете в Гармиш беше отменено – 02 Февруари 2019 - 12:44
Utah 2019 opens in outstanding fashion with SBX wins for Samkova and Dierdorff – 02 Февруари 2019 - 09:20
Тими Зайц спечели ски полетите в Оберстдорф – 01 Февруари 2019 - 20:10

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