Switzerland’s Patrizia Kummer won gold in the final of the women’s parallel giant slalom snowboard, edging out Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan. The bronze went to Russia’s Alena Zavarzina.
Kummer was 0.30 seconds down after her first run on the blue run, but she said she always felt confident of recovering that deficit on her favoured red run.
“I still can't believe it, it's crazy. I still have the feeling that I have to go up and do another run,” she said after producing an impressive final run to clinch gold.
“It was very difficult and bumpy. It wasn't easy,” she admitted. “The red course was better for me, so it was good that I could run my first run on the blue course and then go onto the red one.”
Takeuchi's medal was the first won by a female athlete from Asia in snowboarding, and followed the double success of Ayumu Hirano (silver) and Taku Hiraoka (bronze) in the men’s halfpipe during the first week at Sochi 2014.
The Japanese athlete predicted that her historic medal, together with those won by her male team-mates, was the sign of even greater things to come from Asian snowboarders.
“Asia is becoming really strong in snowboarding; not just Japan but all of Asia is becoming stronger and stronger every season,” she said.
For bronze medallist Zavarzina, the joy of making the podium was further compounded as she saw her husband Vic Wild clinch gold in the men’s event just moments later.
Kummer’s gold was the fiftieth won by Swiss athletes in the history of the Olympic Winter Games.