Fifteen snowboarders participated in the qualifications of the LL1 category and all of them won a place in the quarterfinals where there was room for the top 16, but in the first round of the competition, it was important to get the best position before tomorrow’s competition.
In the quarterfinals, the competitors will be divided into four groups, from which the two best will continue to compete in the semifinals. The snowboarders had two runs each, and the best result was taken.
Bošnjak, who was born in Zagreb but has been living in Linz for almost 30 years, made a mistake in his first run and ended with a time of 1:12:73. He was three seconds faster in the second run but kept the ninth position.
The fastest was Canada’s Tyler Turner (1:04.24), second place went to China’s Zhongwei Wu (1:05:03), while team USA’s Mike Schultz was third (1:05.73).
“I started the first run well, but I made a mistake and almost fell off the track – I barely escaped. The second run was much better, I flew in the jumps, I was much faster, but I stayed in ninth place,” said Bošnjak, who won bronze in the banked slalom discipline in Pyeongchang four years ago. It was the first medal for Croatia in history at the Winter Paralympic Games.
“Tomorrow is a new day, the cards are shuffled again. This result is a solid base and we will see what will happen tomorrow,” added Bošnjak, who will compete in the quarterfinals in a group with the winner of the qualifications, Canada’s Turner, and Holland’s Chris Vos, who was eighth.
The competition was held in Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park with a limited number of spectators.
“The track is good, they made it nice, there are a lot of jumps, it is diverse, but it is also wide and safe. So you can go without fear. It’s good to have spectators, the atmosphere was great,” he said.
His coach Stipe Tomljanović also commented on Bošnjak’s performance.
“I am satisfied with his performance. He made a mistake in the first run that he corrected in the second. The competition is extremely strong, there are also Chinese athletes who we haven’t seen in two years. We will see how it will be in the quarterfinals,” he said, adding: “The weather conditions are quite changeable as the temperature is changing very quickly. There is a huge difference between the first and second run. The first was very fast, the second slowed down, so there are changes. We do our best for the best possible result.”
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