This is the first World Championship medal for the 28-year-old Croatian skier and the first medal from this competition for Croatian skiing after eight years.
Zubčić knocked out German Stefan Luitz in the last 16, making up 23 hundredths of a second from the first run. In the quarterfinals, he was faster than the American Radamus River. He was 34 hundredths of a second behind on the blue track and 62 on the faster, red track.
In the semifinals, the Croatian skier was a maximum of half a second behind the Swiss skier Loic Meillard after the first run, and then in the second, he was faster by 52 hundredths of a second and advanced to the finals. Meillard eventually won bronze.
In the final, Zubčić fought against the Frenchman Mathieu Faivre, who had the advantage because he skied the second race on the red track. Zubčić helped Faivre because he made a big mistake in the first run and was 23 hundredths of a second behind. In the end, Zubčić was 48 hundredths of a second behind to win the silver medal.
Apart from Zubčić, Istok Rodeš also competed in the morning qualifiers but failed to reach the round of 16.
“I’m happy and proud after today’s race. My first medal at the World Championships. Unfortunately, it’s not gold. I was a little angry when I entered the finish line. However, it’s a really great result, so I have nothing to regret,” said the Zagreb skier, who had the seventh time on the red track in this morning’s qualifications, and only the top eight won a place in the final part of the competition.
“After qualifying, I wasn’t too happy because I didn’t ski very well, and I knew I had to ski a lot better in the final races, which I really did.”
Filip thus became the fourth Croatian with a medal at the World Championships after Janica and Ivica Kostelić and Natko Zrnčić-Dima. Zubčić’s silver is the tenth medal in total from the World Championships for the Croatian alpine team and the first after the combination silver of Ivica Kostelić from Schladming in 2013.
“The first medal after a long time for Croatia and a nice announcement for the other races that follow. On Friday, we have the giant slalom, on Sunday the slalom, so we are going to the next races with a lot of optimism,” concluded Filip.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.