The Parallel Giant Slalom is a relatively new event that was introduced at the World Cup just two years ago and had its first event at the World Cup last year. It’s been a fixture on the skateboarding competition calendar for years: Nicolien Sauerbreij became Olympic champion in the skateboard variant in 2010.
Gelenkova’s first steps in Zürs, in the far western corner of Austria, were quiet. On the new skis, it got stuck at the second slowest time (25.53) on its section of the track. “I didn’t go around corners,” she said on the phone on Sunday afternoon. “I had a sticky feeling on the snow.”
only three of them
Forty-five minutes later, on the other track and with different sleds, she did a little better (25, 15). “But it still doesn’t make sense.” With a total time of 50.68 seconds, she kept only three women behind, two of whom didn’t even complete the second round.
In the main tournament, which operates on a knockout system, Slovenian Andrea Slokar booked her first World Cup victory. She defeated Norway’s Thea Louise Sternsund in the final, who was two and a half seconds faster than Jelinkova in the morning.
Zelenkova’s low final ranking was not surprising. In January, she ruptured the cruciate ligament in her left knee at the World Cup in Slovenian Kranjska Gora and did not play for ten months. “It’s the longest I’ve ever had no competitions.”
She was determined not to have too many expectations, but that proved difficult. “I’m still hoping to get back to the level I left off.”
one time top 10
Last year, she placed 10th in the Giant Parallel Slalom in Zurs. She still ranks 10th in the World Cup in her career. A few months later, a day before her bad fall, she became the first Dutch female giant slalom skater in 70 years to secure a place at the Beijing Olympics, thanks to an 11th place finish.
I already knew she didn’t have that level now. “It won’t happen overnight,” she says. The disappointment subsided a lot the next day. “It was really cool to skate again.”
Most importantly, her body was working properly. She wasn’t bothered by anything. “This was basically a test to get back into the racing atmosphere. And in that respect it was: check, check, check.
The biggest problem was the lack of match rhythm. She says that in the near future she wants to receive it again in the United States, she says while checking in for her flight in this way. You’ll train there a lot and look to compete a little bit lower. “You do it better in competitions.”
It skips the next round of the World Cup in Levi, Finland, and returns to the World Cup in Killington, USA, where the giant slalom is scheduled for November 27.
Will you be there again? Her Slovenian coach Pavel Sibolj softens expectations. “It may take some time to get her back on track.”
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