FIS Snowboard Worlds underway in Korea

It has been a great 2009 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Gangwon (KOR) for Austria and Switzerland so far. After six of the nine medal events have been concluded, Austria has collected three gold medals and two silver medals while Switzerland has secured one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, all by its ladies team, fulfilling even the greatest expectations after a mediocre beginning to the season on the World Cup circuit.

The first champions to be crowned - in SBX - were Helene Olafsen (NOR) and Markus Schairer (AUT). The 18-year-old young star Olafsen, bronze medalist in 2007, celebrated start-to-finish triumph in the ladies final ahead of Switzerland's Olivia Nobs and Mellie Francon. On the men's side, 2007 world champion Xavier Delerue (FRA) was leading the pack of four riders all the way down until making a mistake on the last jump when Schairer took advantage and edged him into second spot in a dramatic finish-line push by just one centimeter which could only be determined by a photo finish. Nick Baumgartner (USA) rounded out the podium.

In the first parallel race, the parallel giant slalom, it was Marion Kreiner (AUT) who successfully competed against her teammate Doris Guenther taking her first ever title after winning silver two years ago. In the battle for third, Patrizia Kummer (SUI) surprised by grabbing the bronze.

On the men's side, it was time again for the 2003 double world champion, Jasey Jay Anderson. After Sylvain Dufour (FRA), Matthew Morison took another medal for Canada finishing

In parallel slalom, the titles went to Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli (SUI) and Benjamin Karl (AUT). Doris Guenther (AUT) claimed already her second silver. Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS), the 2007 PGS world champion, completed the podium. In an impressive comeback from a six-week injury, Karl took his first FIS World Championship title by beating Dufour, another two-time silver medalist, in the final. Patrick Bussler secured Germany's first medal by taking the bronze.

The first ever FIS Snowboard World Championships in Asia will continue with half-pipe and big air competitions on Friday and Saturday. Free online streaming of the competitions is always available
at 9 GMT at www.fissnowboardworldchampionships.com

© FIS. All rights reserved. International Ski Federation, CH-3653 Oberhofen (Switzerland). Tel. +41 33 244 61 61, Fax +41 33 244 61 71, www.fis-ski.com

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