(Sportcom) – Arnaud Gaudet’s first world championship duel came on Sunday in the parallel giant slalom. The 22-year-old snowboarder reached the elimination bracket in Bakuriani and finished 14th in conditions that were particularly difficult for many athletes.
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The track was in poor condition at the opening of the World Championships presented in Georgia. According to the athletes, the red track was the roughest and most difficult to negotiate. In the finals, Austria’s Alexander Payer, eventual bronze medalist, was the author of the only two victories signed in the red corridor.
“Many are angry! We looked like beginners on TV and it wasn’t bad. The snow wasn’t good, but I’m happy to have made it to the final,” commented Arnaud Gaudet, who faced Switzerland’s Dario Caviezel in the first elimination round.
Fourth in qualifying, Caviezel had the advantage of choosing his route and like everyone in that position he chose to start in the blue, the faster of the two.
The Swiss got off to a good start and quickly took the lead in this duel. In the second intermediate lap he extended a lead of 1.12 seconds to finally cross the finish line 1.41 seconds ahead of the Quebecer.
“I knew I was going to be on the slower course and had to give everything I had. This is part of the game They changed the doors for the finale to make it fairer, but not much has changed! resumed Gaudet, 13th in qualifying.
“In the end, I’m very happy to have driven in the finale. I followed my game plan even if I made some mistakes. In order to get into the red, you had to have an excellent descent today or be lucky and exploit a big mistake by your opponent,” continued the Olympian, who is more of a specialist in parallel slalom.
Dario Caviezel continued his way to the grand final. He was 26 hundredths of a second behind Poland’s Oskar Kwiatkowski, the new world champion. Alexander Payer defeated his compatriot and Olympic champion Benjamin Karl in the small final.
In February, Gaudet had signed a 17th place finish at the Blue Mountain World Cup, missing the elimination table by just 2-hundredths of a second. A result that at first glance seems frustrating, but with which the Quebecer was very satisfied, happy to have achieved the best result of his career at this event.
He was just as happy to finish Sunday 14 at the World Championships. The only time he qualified for the parallel giant slalom final was in 2019 at the Carezza World Cup. Gaudet was then in 14th place until the event was canceled due to weather.
“I rode properly for the first time in the final, so I was happy with my day. I hope that the parallel slalom conditions will improve this week. Training is going well and I know I can get a good result,” he concluded.
This second round of the World Championship will be held in Bakuriani on Tuesday.