In one of the first contests of the Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships hosted in Georgia’s winter resort town of Bakuriani, Poland’s Oskar Kwiatkowski and Japan’s Tsubaki Miki earned gold in the Parallel Giant Slalom on Saturday.
Kwiatowski claimed the top honour in the men’s section, where the silver medal went to Dario Kaviezel from Switzerland and the bronze to Austria’s Alexsander Payer.
Among women, the second spot was earned by Austrian athlete Daniela Ulbing, while Poland’s Aleksandra Król finished third.
Officials from Georgia’s Economy Ministry and the International Ski and Snowboard Federation awarded the winners in the discipline that saw 100 competitors from 18 countries enter the race.
Photo: The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
Georgia’s Revaz Nazgaidze qualified 39th in the section, missing out on the finals but retaining the opportunity to enter the Parallel Slalom competition on Tuesday.
In other contests, the Aerials Team Race was hosted on the Kokhta Gora slopes the same day, with fling skiers from 10 countries competing.
Mariam Kvrivishvili, Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and Niklas Carlsson, the Deputy General Secretary of FIS, awarded the winning teams of the United States, second-place finishers from China and bronze winners from Ukraine, with the Individual Aerials competition scheduled for Wednesday.
As part of the launch of the Championships, a track on the Didveli Mountain in Bakuriani was named after Oto Gotsiridze - a recognised figure of the history of the Georgian ski sports since the 1970s. The honouring of Gotsiridze’s legacy also recognised his efforts in the transformation of Didveli as an area for ski competitions in the 2000s.
A track on the Didveli Mountain in Bakuriani was named after Oto Gotsiridze - a recognised figure of the history of the Georgian ski sports since the 1970s. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
In an interview with Agenda.ge, Gotsiridze said the event was a “great honour and appreciation”, and highlighted the importance of Bakuriani hosting a competition of the scale of the World Championships for raising the location’s international recognition.
Running through March 5, the competition brings together about 700 athletes from 42 countries competing in 30 categories for seven disciplines.
Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Georgia’s effort for providing infrastructure for the event has seen three new cable cars, a 29 kilometre-long artificial snowmaking system and two artificial water reservoirs installed in Bakuriani.
Athletes, teams and media are also hosted in the Championship Village set up in the town under a ₾270 million ($101 mln) expenditure by the Government.
The International Ski and Snowboard Federation congress granted Georgia the hosting rights for the World Championships in 2018, with the tournament organised with the support of the Georgian Government, the country’s Mountain Trails Agency and Ski Federation.