Sweden wins the ski cross finals
Victor Oehling won a treacherous men final, which caused the penalisation of the main favourite Filip Flisar; Sandra Naeslund resisted the attacks of a reborn Fanny Smith
Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) is the new ski cross World Champion. This discipline consists of races in groups of four riders on a circuit with jumps and arched curves. His compatriot Sandra Naeslund won the gold in ladies.
Norberg arrived in the first position to the finish line, ahead of the New Zealander Jamie Prebble and the French François Place, silver and bronze medalists respectively. Main favourite Filip Flisar (SLO) ended in the third position in the final, but was penalised and relegated to the fourth place by the judges. As for the ladies, Naeslund won the gold, Fanny Smith (SUI) got the silver and Ophelie David (FRA) the bronze medal.
As expected, ski cross finals ended with surprises and minor accidents which were decisive for the final ranking. In the round of 16, the Olympic Champion and one of the main favourites, Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA) was eliminated after finishing in the last position. Something similar happened with Jonas Devauassoux (FRA), who fell after touching Igor Omelin (RUS) in the quarter finals.
The gold medal was for Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) followed by Jamie Prebble (NZE), who would benefit from the accident involving François Place and Flisar. The Slovenian finished third, but was disqualified by the judges, since he did not pass correctly one of the gates of the circuit. In the small final, the ranking was: Cristoph Wahrstötter (AUT), Adam Kappacher (AUT), Brady Leman (CAN) and Siegmar Klotz (ITA).
Likewise, the ladies' competition has been surprising from the beginning, since Marte Hoeie Gjefsen (NOR), the best placed in the previous runs, was knocked out of competition in the first quarter finals heat. In semi-finals, reigning Olympic Champion Marielle Thompson (CAN) was eliminated. Sandra Naeslund (SWE) was proclaimed World Champion, with Fanny Smith (SUI) and Ophelie David (FRA) occupying the second and third positions respectively. Heidi Zacher (GER) ended fourth after a minor incident in the final. The small final resulted in Marielle Thomson (CAN) ending in fifth position, followed by Marie Berger Sabbatel (FRA 6th), Georgia Simmerling (CAN 7th) and Reina Uhemara (JPN 8th).
Sandra Naslund, "I am really happy right now. I am so happy to finish with a victory here. I did a little better start than in other heats, and then I kept going on. The snow was pretty soft, but it was ok. (My rivals) were really close all the way, but I did it and I am very happy."
Victor Oheling, "It’s amazing, I never thought that I would be in a big final in a World Championships. It’s been a difficult season with the injuries. I took the lead and then I have no idea of what was happening behind me, I was really stressed out but I could do what I was supposed to do."