Snowboard cross Beijing 2022 test event sees wins for Samkova and Haemmerle
Eva Samkova (CZE), Charlotte Bankes (GBR) and Michela Moioli (ITA) took the women's podium positions while Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT), Omar Visintin (ITA) and Nick Baumgartner (USA) rounded out the men's event on Sunday (28 November).
When you put two Olympic champions and the current world champion in a snowboard cross final you know you’re going to get fireworks. It was the 2014 Olympic Winter Games gold medallist Eva Samkova who came out on top at the season opening snowboard cross World Cup, which also doubled as a test event for Beijing 2022, which starts 4 February.
The Czech athlete, who also won bronze at PyeongChang 2018, will be feeling mighty fine ahead of the upcoming Games after winning gold on the soon-to-be Olympic course at Secret Garden in People’s Republic of China.
Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes, the current world champion, came in second, and will be feverishly working out how she can up that medal to the top step come February. Italy’s Michela Moioli, the current Olympic champion, who came in third, will no doubt be plotting the same.
Austria’s young prospect Pia Zerkhold came fourth.
In the men’s event Zerkhold’s compatriot, Alessandro Haemmerle, claimed the top spot. The 28-year-old also won silver at the 2021 World Championship in February and has also won three overall snowboard cross crystal globes in a row, so is clearly a serious contender ahead of Beijing.
Italy’s Omar Visintin is a regular feature on World Cup podiums and his best result to date has been a silver in the mixed team event at the 2019 World Championship in Utah. But could 2021-22 be his breakout individual reward season come the Olympic Games? American Nick Baumgartner, who turns 40 in December, will also be happy with a podium start to the season.
Austria's Jakob Dusek came in fourth while the current world champion, Spain’s Lucas Eguibar came 22nd.
The snowboard cross disciplines at Beijing 2022 are going to be not-to-be-missed events with the women’s edition taking place on 9 February, the men’s on 10 February and the new mixed team event on 12 February.
– Check out the ski cross results from the same venue on Saturday (27 November) here.