Slovenia’s freestyle skier Filip Flisar won the skicross finals of the World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria, on Sunday. This is the first world cup medal for the Maribor native famous for his handlebar moustache.
The 27-year-old won ahead of French Jean Frederic Chapuis in second place and Swede Victor Oehling Norberg, who won bronze. Flisar was the only Slovenian in the skicross knock-out competition.
Flisar has logged four world cup victories, but this is his first podium at a big event; he was sixth in the Sochi Olympics last year and eighth in Vancouver in 2010.
Flisar bagged the fourth medal for Slovenia at the Kreischberg Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships, after snowboarder Tim Kevin Ravnjak on bronze in halfpipe, Rok Marguč was third in slalom and Žan Košir bagged bronze in parallel giant slalom.
Another Slovenian athlete Peter Prevc won the ski-jumping event in Japan’s Sapporo on Saturday, having jumped 130 metres and 131 metres and gained 276.4 points. The other Slovenian among the top five is Jurij Tepeš, whose best jump was 129.0 metres.
Prevc, 22, has outperformed Austria’s Stefan Kraft in second place and Czech Roman Koudelka in third, securing his first victory this season.
“It took more than half of the season to finally be able to pull myself together at the event, do two very good jumps and the good result was there,” Prevec said in his first statement for the STA.
Happy with the victory, he added “It feels really great, although you could always do something even better, but this was the most I was able to deliver today.”
“I’m always happiest when I see number 1 on the display upon landing…Sapporo is obviously something special,” said Prevc, who won there also last season.
Coach Goran Janus was thrilled with the result “Perfect! Congratulations to Peter on his first victory of this season.”
“Last season Sapporo was something special, but tomorrow is a new race,” Janus added, referring to Slovenia’s extraordinary performance last year when Prevc and Jernej Damjan finished first and second on the first day, followed by a triple victory the next day with Damjan, Prevc and Robert Kranjec taking the podium.
Currently Slovenia’s best ski-jumper, Prevc is now second in the overall World Cup rankings with 864 points, 93 points behind Kraft.
Prevc last won a World Cup event last March in front of a home crown in Planica.
While today’s victory is his fourth, Prevc’s best-ever result is silver and bronze from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
His victory in Sapporo brings Slovenia’s total World Cup telly to 39 individual wins, of which ski-jumping star Primož Peterka, who ended his career a few years ago, has secured 15.
One of the most successful Slovenian ski-jumpers ever was also Primož Ulaga, who secured nine wins in the 1980s.