The 17-year-old Junior World Champion Sofia Nadryshina wins back-to-back races after her first career win in Scuol. Russia ends on a bittersweet note the Austrian competition thanks to World Champion Loginov’s disqualification in the Men’s Big Final. Aaron March back on top after 11 years.
By Daphne Seberich
The FIS Snowboard World Championship continued after the events held at Carezza and Scuol in Bad Gastein. For the 21st straight season, the individual Parallel Slalom competition in Austria went down in style, with the world’s best athletes pushing it to the limit all day long, especially during the finals under the lights. Numerous tight heats went down on the night, while ideal weather and course conditions allowed the riders on hand to deliver an exciting showcase of top snowboard racing.
The Women’s event was dominated by Russian 17-year-old rookie Sofia Nadryshina, setting the fastest time in the qualifying rounds. She annihilated tough competitors like Melanie Hochreiter, Ladinia Jenny and Selina Jörg on her way to the Big Final in highly contended match-up heats.
Cheyenne Loch from the German Snowboard Team was the last obstacle Nadryshina had to overcome. Like a rocket, the Russian took off at the start of the Big Final, accumulating a substantial advantage right from the get-go. Although Loch pushed herself to the limits to catch up the rookie, the German came wide just ahead of the finish line on the second-to-last gate, which led to her ending in a DNF.
“This is such a great experience for me”, said Nadyrshina, “Last season I finished twice in second place and now I managed to get back-to-back victories. It feels amazing. There are just so many emotions I can’t even describe them. Thanks to all my coaches and all the support I get from my team.”
Completing the podium is the German duo Loch-Jörg. The last one out of the two edged out the Swiss 2020 Parallel Slalom World Champion Julie Zogg in the Small Final.
As the competition in Bad Gastein was the first stop of the Parallel Snowboard Slalom tour in 2020/21, the Austrian events’ final standings determine the discipline’s ranking. However, the Parallel Overall standings have changed. The victory on Austrian territory grants Nadyrshina the standings leadership with 274 points after four competitions. Ramona Theresia Hofmeister dropped to second with 264 points, while Jörg is following behind in third place with 240 points.
Photo credits: Fis Snowboard, Augsburger Allgemeine & OA Sport
Over at the Men’s event, Russia seemed to have the upper hand in the qualifying session. Andrey Sobolev led his teammates Dmitriy Karlagachev, Dmitry Sarsembaev and Igor Sluev to take respectively first, second, third and fourth place in the qualification round. A key absentee was South Tyrolean star and veteran Roland Fischnaller, who didn’t qualify for the round-of-16 for the second event in a row.
The Russian that came out on top after highly contended heats against exceptionally demanding opponents, such as Stefan Baumeister, Andrey Sobolev and Igor Sluev, was Dmitry Loginov. The current Parallel Snowboard World Champion made it to the Big Final, where he then had against the South Tyrolean athlete Aaron March.
The battle to the top seemed to be a closed case, as Loginov beat the Italian with a 24 hundredths of a second advantage to the finish line. Video control, although, deemed the Russian guilty of initiating a jump turn in the middle of his run, swinging the tail of his board out over the stubby before it had fully gone around the gate. Not completing the turn, his run was deemed a DNF. Loginov ended being demoted to second place, handing over the win to March, who had only won one previous time in his career 11 years ago.
“It’s a little bit surprising to win today,” explained March after the awards ceremony, “Obviously after crossing the finish line I thought I’m in second place, but nevertheless I was riding well. I had a good feeling especially in the last ten gates or so and this is where I was winning my heats today. I wasn’t very happy with my result in the qualifications so I really wanted to show in the finals that I can be fast, and yeah I did my best and of course, victory feels great now.”
Third place went to Austrian Andreas Prommegger, who won the head-to-head battle against Scuol’s winner Igor Sluev.
Two DNFs. What handed over the win to Russia in the Women’s competition ended having to resign victory over Italy. A bittersweet conclusion to the night event.
Andreas Prommegger took over the lead of the Parallel Overall ranking with 221 points, only one ahead of teammate Benjamin Karl. Aaron March’s win grants him third place in the standings, having already been in the Top-3 this season.
Photo credits: Eurosport Italy, Edubilla & MN2S
The next event will be the first team competition occurring in Bad Gastein on the 13th of January. Russia, Austria and Italy are the top teams in the Men’s challenge, Germany, Switzerland and Russia in the Women’s. Who will come out on top?