Czech snowboarder,Ester Ledecka sprang one of the biggest shocks in Winter Games history when she won the super-G on Saturday with US star Lindsey Vonn finishing sixth.
Ledecka, favourite in the snowboard parallel slalom in a week’s time, clocked 1min 21.11sec down the polished 2km-long Jeongseon course to edge defending champion Anna Veith of Austria by one-hundredth of a second. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather took bronze.
Not only did Ledecka deprive Veith of what looked like a rare double, she pushed Vonn back into sixth spot, the American star paying the price for a massive error that saw her lose valuable time at the bottom of the course.
“It’s definitely shocking,” Vonn said of Ledecka’s win. “She beat me in training in Lake Louise — that was also surprising.
“I feel like in the Olympics a lot of things can happen, it’s not that she didn’t deserve it, but there’s a lot of pressure on the favourites.”
After newly-crowned giant slalom gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin’s disappointing fourth place in Friday’s slalom, all eyes were Vonn for a US medal comeback as she opened her Pyeongchang campaign in brilliant sunshine.
On a technically testing super-G on hard-packed, artificial snow, an almost capacity crowd of 4,000 roared as the American was shown getting ready to move into the start gate.
Dressed in a figure-hugging white catsuit with red and blue stripes, and blonde hair tied tight back into a pony tail tucked into a white helmet, the American shot out and skied the top two-thirds of the course well, reaching speeds of 100 kmh and flying more than 30 metres off the jumps.
Pushing herself to the max, she overcooked it coming into the bottom third, however, and just four gates from the finish went wide on a turn.
Be-gloved left hand desperately driven into the snow to regain her line, she managed to correct herself and scrape inside the next gate.>