Mon, 17 Jan 2022

Dark horse wins at Ski Cross World Cup in China

27 Nov 2021, 19:44 GMT+10

CHONGLI, China, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Russian Sergey Ridzik came out the dark horse winner in the men's race while world No.1 Sandra Naeslund of Sweden topped the women's podium as the FIS Ski Cross World Cup, also a Beijing 2022 test event, concluded here on Saturday.

Ridzik, ranked just the 47th in the world and having reached Saturday's finals on 24th in the qualification runs, defeated Brady Leman and Bastien Midol to lift the men's trophy.

The Russian started Saturday's competitions well, breaking through from his group in the last 16 round, quarterfinals and semifinals all with first-position finish.

The men's final saw Ridzik take the lead to reach the first record point after starting, but was overtaken by Frenchman Midol in the middle of the run. Leman, who was the eventual runner-up, was on third place for most of the time.

Dramatic change occurred in the sprint phase. Midol landed with a slight stumble after a jumping point and was overtaken by Rizick, while Leman barely squeezed into the second place by leaning forward before hitting the line.

"This course is great and the competition is great, now I'm the champion and I'm also an Olympian, I wish I'll standing on the podium here again next February," said Ridzik.

World No. 1 Reece Howden suffered an early elimination in the last eight.

Not like the men's race, the women's top-ranked skiier Naeslund had advanced all the way as the top finisher. She also broke through the quarterfinal and semifinal group comfortably on Saturday.

Women's final witnessed Naeslund take the lead right away from the starting phase, while Fanny Smith fell to the fourth in the second record point but eventually finished the second. Marielle Berger Sabbatel got the third.

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