Almost two years after having stunned the rest of the field in unexpectedly clinching the gold medal at the Åre 2007 FIS World Championships, Sarka Zahrobska finally celebrated her first ever World Cup victory as she beat a strong field and testing winds in the slalom at Aspen on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Czech has reached five podiums so far yet she always failed to prevail in front of established Slalom favorites as Austria’s Nicole Hosp, Marlies Schild or Tanja Poutiainen. This time she managed to remain focused and determined throughout the entire race to beat last year’s winner Hosp by 23/100 of a second.
Victory came at last in the worst possible conditions, with wind sweeping the piste, disturbing skiers and forcing organizers to halt the race in the morning run. “It was a tough race, it was crucial to remain very concentrated during the whole day and attack hard,” said Zahrobska afterwards.
“It's such a great day for me and for my country,” added the winner who became the first skier of her country to achieve that performance. In the past, skiers from former Czechoslovakia also excelled on the World Cup tour before it split in two countries on January 1st 1993.
“It was important to confirm that my gold medal was not an isolated win and it's all the better as I did not feel so well today, in fact I was very surprised to find myself in the lead after the first run,” also commented the Head champion who has been trained for years by her father, a former lawyer.
Sarka also proved in recent season that she has the potential to excel in other disciplines, including in Super-combined. She was close to podium in that event at Åre two years as she finished 4th. The challenging slopes from Val d’Isère should suit her style.
With skiers as her, Maria Riesch, Anja Paerson and many others, Head is definitely a big player in women’s ski racing as it’s the case on the men’s tour.