China’s Sun Qi stunned the field with his first career victory to open the World Para Snowboard World Cup on Wednesday (14 November) in Landgraaf, Netherlands.
The 19-year-old clocked the fastest banked slalom time (40.53) to secure the men’s SB-LL2 gold medal. He blazed in the first run and then shaved a third of a second off to remain untouchable at the top of the podium.
Sun made his Paralympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 but did not crack the top-10 in either of the two medal events. He has gotten faster since.
Even more, he beat out Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari. The two-time banked slalom world champion came in second, followed by Canada’s Alex Massie.
More gold for Vos
Home favourite Chris Vos continued his strong start to the 2018-19 season.
The 20-year-old Dutchman swept the World Cup season opener in Dubai, UAE, last week, and on Wednesday added his third gold.
Vos completed his first run in 43.12, and no other rider in the men’s SB-LL1 category could get within three seconds near. Austria’s Reinhold Schett came the closest, followed by Croatia’s Bruno Bosnjak in third.
Schett’s teammate Patrick Mayrhofer, however, got a win for their nation. The former world champion and overall crystal globe winner has shown an incredible comeback in the men’s SB-UL.
He captured his second victory on the circuit in 42.46, a positive outlook since being injured right before the 2017 Worlds.
Australia went two-three, with PyeongChang 2018 champion Simon Patmore taking silver and Sean Pollard with bronze.
Home win for Bunschoten
Dutchwoman Lisa Bunschoten (46.68) knows the Landgraaf course all too well, as she landed the women’s SB-LL2 win. Canada’s Sandrine Hamel and the Netherlands’ Renske van Beek completed the podium, respectively.
France’s Cecile Hernandez (46.33) won the women’s SB-LL1, and China’s Lu Jiangli (46.69) took home the top prize in the women’s SB-UL.
The Landgraaf World Cup concludes Thursday (15 November) with another banked slalom event.
Live results are available on World Para Snowboard’s website.