Rodes breaks Croatia’s gold medal duck at FIS Alpine Junior World Championships

 

Istok Rodes won the men’s slalom title at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Junior World Championships in Sochi today to become Croatia’s first-ever gold medallist at this level.

Rodes, who won bronze in the Alpine combined event on Tuesday (March 1), clocked a combined time of 1 min 36.84 sec to finish ahead of Germany’s Frederik Norys, 0.65 seconds behind, and compatriot Elias Kolega, 0.85 seconds back.

His achievement eclipses that of Croatia’s Ivica Kostelić, the 2003 senior slalom world champion, who finished 10th in the same event at the 1997 Junior World Championships.

Kostelić’s younger sister Janica, the four-time Olympic gold medallist, could only manage 12th position a year later.

“I’m very happy with these World Junior National Championship,” said Rodes on the Croatia Ski Team Facebook page.

“I did what I came for.”

As a reward for claiming top honours, Rodes now has the right to compete in the senior World Cup final in the Swiss town of St Moritz later this month.

In the women’s slalom, Germany’s Elisabeth Willibald won with a combined time of 1:37.41.

Austria’s Katharina Gallhuber had to settle for second spot, 0.29 seconds shy of the winning time, while fellow countrywoman Katharina Huber rounded out the podium, 1.15 seconds behind.

All three medallists have raced World Cup slaloms this season, scoring points on multiple occasions.

 

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