OLYMPICS: Košir Silver in Snowboard Slalom
Sochi, 22 February - Slovenian snowboarder Žan Košir rode to silver in the men's parallel slalom event in Sochi on Saturday. Among the fastest competitors in the qualifiers and knock-out stages, Košir had to admit defeat in the final to Vic Wild of Russia.
Košir and Wild were the fastest to emerge from the qualifiers and set up a fitting final after dominant performances in the knock-out rounds.
The final was a contrast of two styles, with Wild's brash, attacking approach and Košir's composed, accurate glide through the gates.
While Wild, the gold-medallist form the parallel giant slalom, had run over his opponents on the way to the gold medal race, Košir would not be pushed over. He stayed within striking distance throughout, but was pipped at the gate by 0.11 seconds.
"From the outset I wanted to race Vic Wild in the final. He was extremely quick out of the gate...and in the end was a deserving winner," Košir said of the final.
The 29-year-old Slovenian was happy nonetheless with his performances in Sochi: "Two medals in two races, it's hard to expect more. Only that they would be gold."
"But I guess I have to keep something for the next Games and go step by step from here," he said in announcing plans to return in 2018 in South Korea.
The medal was Košir's second of the Games, after bronze in the parallel giant slalom on Wednesday, and increased Slovenia's tally in Sochi to eight (two gold, two silver, four bronze), the most successful Olympics for the country to date.
Košir also became the third Slovenian athlete to win multiple medals at these Games, after skier Tina Maze won two gold and ski jumper Peter Prevc took one silver and one bronze.
The achievements of Slovenian athletes in Sochi have dominated headlines in the country and the talk on social media. The latest medal was once again the talk of the country, as networks like Twitter and Facebook were flooded with messages of celebration and well wishes to Košir, including from senior Slovenian officials.