American alpine ski racing superstar Ava Sunshine has claimed the top spot in the women’s FIS ANC Giant Slalom race held at Coronet Peak today. Fadri Janutin of Switzerland took the win in the men’s race.
The second day of the Winter Games NZ alpine ski racing programme got underway today at Coronet Peak with the second FIS ANC Giant Slalom race. Once again, there were an incredible 124 athletes from 34 nations racing at New Zealand's Home of alpine ski racing, Coronet Peak.
Cold temperatures overnight resulted in great snow conditions for the high speed race in the morning, however, the high temperatures resulted in soft snow in the afternoon, creating difficult conditions for the second run.
Today’s race consisted of two runs with the combined times determining the final placings. Today’s courses were set on The Hurdle by Kiwi Winter Olympian Tim Cafe (run 1) and USA women's world cup coach Magnus Anderson (run 2).
The women's podium saw Ava Sunshine (USA) take away gold today, with local legend Alice Robinson (NZ) following closely behind just +0.68 seconds behind Sunshine. In third was Sunshine’s compatriot and yesterday's gold medalist A J Hurt (USA).
Sunshine said “It's so fun, I love being in New Zealand. You know it's just a great time. The hill was good and there are so many great people here.”
Queenstown athlete Robinson explained, “today was a mixed day, I had a pretty gnarly first run. I got caught in a gate and hurt my back but I’m happy I regrouped and had a good second run to finish on the podium.”
The men's podium consisted of three different athletes from yesterday's podium, showing just how talented the top of the men’s field is. Fadri Janutin (SUI) came out on top, with Norwegian athlete Timon Haugan in second, followed by Andreas Zampa (SVK) in third.
The top eight men in today’s race finished within one second of each other, in what was a hotly contested race.
When asked about his skiing today, Janutin said “Today I think my skiing was pretty good, I was pretty happy after the first run and then I thought that I need to go full gas in the second run to make the win and I did it. I’m really happy about that.”
Winter Games NZ is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event, in 2023 featuring 11 events across alpine, freeride and park and pipe disciplines between the 25th August and 13th September. Racing continues Thursday at Coronet Peak with the first day of FIS Australia New Zealand cup Slalom.