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Two medals for Slovenian snowboarders at the Olympics

Beijing, 8 February - Slovenian snowboarders won two medals at the Olympic parallel giant slalom on Tuesday. Tim Mastnak got silver in the men's category as one of the medal favourites, while Gloria Kotnik won bronze in the women's competition, a feat few had expected prior to the Olympic Games.

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Gloria Kotnik wins bronze in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak (left) wins silver in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak wins silver in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak (left) wins silver in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak wins silver in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Gloria Kotnik wins bronze in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Gloria Kotnik (right) wins bronze in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Gloria Kotnik wins bronze in the Olympic parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Beijing, China
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak takes the silver in the men's parallel giant slalom.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Mastnak went from strength to strength after finishing fourth in the qualifying. In the race for gold, however, he had to concede to the Austrian Benjamin Karl.

This is the first Olympic medal for the 31-year-old, who was not entirely pleased with the last run as a mistake may have cost him gold.

Mastnak attributed the mistake in the lower sections of the piste to poor visibility as Karl sent some snow splash his way when he slipped in the upper section. He admits his performance was not ideal.

"My expectations were not high after the qualifying. The rides were not idea, I did not know where I could add anything. I told myself I had to fight and be what may. I have won the coveted medal and have to be happy and content," he said.

And while Mastnak was considered a medal contender, Kotnik, 32, achieved an entirely unexpected triumph, having skipped the entire season last year due to childbirth and not making it to the final in a single World Cup race this season.

But she says having a child has changed her. She is more relaxed and does not burden herself with things too much.

"I was not thinking about any kind of result before the race. I felt great in the qualifying, everything went well. And then it only escalated. I just snowboarded and enjoyed it. The medal is a reward for all the efforts throughout my career," she said.

En route to her first Olympic medal, Kotnik defeated Japan's Tsubaki Miki in the round of 16 and kicked out another medal favourite, Germany's Caroline Langenhorst, in the quarter-final.

She lost to Austria's Daniela Ulbing in the semi-final before defeating Dutch snowboarder Michelle Dekker in the race for third place.

Less than a week into the Olympic Games, have five medals, the ski jumpers having won two golds and one bronze.

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© STA, 2022