The inaugural FIS Snowboard & Freestyle Junior World Championships continued yesterday in Wanaka, NZ despite challenging course conditions that featured a driving blizzard, limited visibility and high winds. However, these junior snowboard athletes proved why they’re among the world’s best by overcoming the natural obstacles during the first of two days of alpine snowboarding at Snow Park NZ.
Just under 70 athletes took on the parallel giant slalom course with top honors going to Edwin Coratti (19) of Italy and Annamari Chundak (20) of Ukraine as both earned World Championship titles.
Chundak, who has a world ranking of 36, clocked the fastest women’s qualifying time while Lukas Mathies (19) of Austria, ranked 28 in the world, was the fastest men’s qualifier. Chundak managed to hold onto her lead throughout the event to take the overall title.
“The weather was horrible but we train in all different conditions so it didn’t affect me so much,” said Chundak. “It was a very tough competition but I believed in myself and now I am so happy to be world champion.”
Julie Zogg (SUI) took silver and Ina Meschik (AUT) took bronze in the women’s race.
Mathies fought hard through the finals but it was Edwin Coratti who pipped him to the post by just hundredths of a second. “It was a great day,” said Coratti. “Lukas was my closest rival and it was very hard racing against him but I did it!”
Konstantin Shiplove (RUS) and Stefan Baumeister (GER) took silver and gold respectively.
The snowboard alpine events continue tomorrow with the parallel slalom at Snow Park NZ with a start time of 9:00 a.m. with finals scheduled for noon time. For more information and full results, please visit www.juniorworldsnz.co.nz.