SOCHI, February 14 (R-Sport) –Vancouver bronze medalist Marion Kreiner of Austria climbed to the top of the slalom World Cup standings on Thursday with victory in the snowboard parallel giant slalom event in Sochi.
Kreiner won the final round on the course that will host the 2014 Winter Olympic competition, with Germany’s Amelie Kober finishing just 0.04 seconds behind.
“The organizers did a great job, the track was well-prepared and it was not an easy job to do,” Kreiner said.
“Maybe I liked everything because I won, but I’m looking forward to the Olympic Games. I think the Olympics will be fantastic.”
In the bronze-medal heat, Canada’s Ariane Lavigne beat Valeria Tsoy of Kazakhstan, who had earlier eliminated two season leaders in local favorite Yekaterina Tudegesheva and Austria’s Patrizia Kummer.
They were Lavigne and Tsoy's best finishes of their careers.
“I tried, I fought, but I made mistakes,” Tudegesheva said. “I wasn’t completely ready to such a long track. It was difficult to adapt. It is my first time in Sochi, first time at this track. There was also pressure, because it was my home World Cup stage.”
In the men’s final, 2008 world champion Andreas Prommeger finished first comfortably after his compatriot Ingemar Walder fell during the second run.
Slovenia’s Rok Flander, the 2007 world champion, took the bronze leaving Kaspar Fluetsch of Switzerland at fourth.
Austria's Prommeger went top of the slalom standings with the victory, 170 points ahead of Italy's Roland Fischnaller.
The Sochi World Cup stage will continue on Friday, when the athletes compete in the snowboard parallel slalom and mogul.
Saturday will see the halfpipe skiing event, followed by snowboard cross on Sunday.
The competitions were held at the Sochi Extreme Park that will host 2014 Winter Olympics next February.
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