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Gold medallist at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and a two-time World Cup crystal globe winner, Samkova had yet to earn a medal in her four previous world championships attempts. 

That all changed this week at Solitude, however, as the 25-year-old took top spot in qualifiers on Thursday before winning her quarter and semifinal heats on her way to the big final medal showdown. 

There, as she had done all day, Samkova jumped out to an early lead that she would not relinquish, celebrating before the line on her way into the finish area and her new role as the 2019 world champion.

world championships
© Sarah Brunsson/USSA


“I just tried to do my best. I think it’s almost better that I had to wait for this victory. My first world championships was in 2011, so it took a while to get this win, but it’s good like this. I still believe that our sport isn’t all about medals. You can have fun and have a great day of riding even without winning a medal. I tried not to put pressure on myself before the race and just try and enjoy it, and I think that’s the good way to do it. But I was fifth in 2011 and then got worse and worse (at world championships) after that, so I’m happy that I made it today.”

Charlotte Bankes would claim a historic silver, giving Great Britain its first-ever major snowboard cross competition podium result. Meanwhile, reigning Olympic champion Michela Moioli (ITA) would claim world championships bronze for the third-straight time. Just off the podium in fourth place was Moioli’s Italian teammate Francesca Gallina.



Eva Samkova