Jeong edged out the host nation’s Milena Bykova to take the women’s title, whilst Kwiatowski defeated his teammate Michel Jakub Nowazyk by an even closer margin to land the men’s title.
With temperatures hovering around three to five degrees throughout the competition, there were 18 competitors in total in the women’s race and 27 in the men’s heading into the morning qualifications. Snowboarders had two runs in each round with both competitions beginning with a qualification run before moving on to the elimination runs in the afternoon. The competitors then moved on to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in order to determine the winner.
It took an inspired performance from Korean Jeong to come away with the gold medal from the women’s event as she defeated Milena Bykova from Russia in the final run by only 0.26 seconds. Natalie Soboleva from Russia took the bronze medal. Jeong, who has competed at three FIS Snowboard Championships, got to the final by winning her duels against Yuetong Shi from China, Darya Slobodka from Kazakhstan, and then Soboleva in the elimination rounds.
It finished a Polish 1-2 in the men’s event as Kwiatowski defeated his compatriot Nowazyk in the final run, although it was very close with just one hundredth of a second separating the two. Dmitriy Sarsembaev, the reigning world champion from Russia, took the bronze. Kwiatowski got to the final by defeating Daehwan Kim from Korea, Vladislav Shkurikhin from Russia and then Sarsembaev in the elimination rounds.
The snowboard competition continues tomorrow, 6 March, at the Winter Universiade 2019 with the men’s and women’s parallel slalom.
Switzerland’s Yannick Chabloz secured his country’s second gold medal of the Winter Universiade by winning the men’s combined event during a dramatic day of alpine skiing.
The glory belonged to Chabloz, who came into the combined with a bronze medal under his belt from the opening day’s super-G. Two steady runs – seventh in the super-G with 57.21 and fifth in the slalom with 38.38 – meant that he finished on top of the podium with a total of 1:35.59.
The comeback of the day belonged to Russia’s Anton Endzhievskii as he carved his way from 30th position after the super-G to finish second and with a silver medal after the slalom.
Going into the second half of the event, Endzhievskii began proceedings as the top-30 from the morning’s super-G run started the slalom in reverse order. With a good time of 37.25 seconds, Endzhievskii raced straight into medal contention, as did compatriot Nikita Alekhin, who also worked his way up 16 places to a bronze, with a slalom run of 37.69.
Tomas Klinsky of the Czech Republic and Pawel Babicki of Poland posted the two fastest times in the super-G. Klinsky, who had won the super-G silver two days prior, remained in podium contention until the bottom third of the slalom course, posting a slalom time of 39.92 to finish only +0.64 seconds away from bronze.
Monday’s men’s 1500 metre speed skating final at the Arena Sever Multifunctional Complex saw a dramatic finish won by An Kai of China.
Kai finished the race with a time of 2:14.848, ahead of France’s Quentin Lucas Vin Fercoq, although the result could have been very different as two Korean skaters were very much in contention almost until the end. That was until both collided with each other with Jiwon Park receiving a penalty and skidding out of the medals contention.
Earlier in the women’s race, double Olympic champion and Almaty 2017 gold medalist Kim Alang of South Korea produced a dominant performance to take the gold medal. She crossed the line in 2:38.363 seconds ahead of France’s Aurelie Noelle Monvoisin who launched a late attack to finish second with silver, whilst the host nation’s Ekaterina Efremenkova delighted the home crowd with a third place finish and bronze medal.
Also on Monday, the combined freestyle skiing event at the Sopka Cluster was a closely fought contest, eventually going the way of Belarussian duo Aleksandra Romanovskaya and Artyom Bashlakov.
Romanovskaya, the current world champion in freestyle skiing and Bashlakov, the silver medalist of the Winter Universiade in 2017, combined to edge out the Russian pair of Stanislav Nikitin and Kristina Spiridonova who took silvers, while another host duo and the favourites Maxim Burov and Lyubov Nikitina had to be content with bronze.