France’s Bastien Midol and Switzerland’s Fanny Smith clinched victories on the opening day of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Cross World Cup in Idre Fjäll.
The first of three days of competition saw skiers complete a 600 metres straight sprint course.
Olympic bronze medallist Smith won both her quarter and semi-final heats in the women’s competition to advance to the final.
Smith held off the challenge of Canada’s reigning world champion Marielle Thompson to claim victory.
Switzerland’s Talina Gantenbein, a Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic gold medallist, completed the podium places by finishing third in the final.
Russia’s Anastasiia Chirtcova missed out on the podium after placing fourth.
Victory saw Smith tie Ophelie David’s record of 26 Ski Cross World Cup wins.
"I really like coming here to Idre, it’s really a nice course," said Smith.
"It’s really tough physically, you have to be on top of your game, don’t make any mistakes.
"I don’t really think about records, I only think about skiing and giving my best."
We also serve you our men's big final heat of the day here in @idrefjall with Bastien Midol 🇫🇷 back on top of the podium, Viktor Andersson 🇸🇪 taking second ahead of Francois Place 🇫🇷 in a tight photo finish🔥#fisfreestyle #skicross #tightone pic.twitter.com/8qixvtLHb4— FISfreestyle (@FISfreestyle) January 20, 2021
The men’s event saw Midol win five consecutive races to top the podium positions today.
His quarter-final triumph came at the expense of his brother Jonathan, who was only able to finish third and missed out on a semi-final race.
Midol secured victory in the final after leading the race from start to finish.
A photo finish was required to separate the remaining finalists, with Sweden’s Viktor Andersson and France’s Francois Place ending second and third respectively.
Switzerland’s Jonas Lenherr missed out on the podium in fourth.
Qualification is scheduled to take place in Idre Fjäll on January 22, with finals scheduled on January 23 and 24.
The FIS confirmed prior to the World Cup that Idre Fjäll will host the Cross World Championships next month.