1999 FIS World Championships Blanc Wins Gold in Dual GS, Fletcher Grabs Silver

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany (AP) — Isabelle Blanc of France, taking advantage of a late mistake by American Rosey Fletcher, won the parallel giant slalom gold medal Thursday in the World Snowboarding Championships.

Fletcher led .30 seconds after the first of two runs in the final and was within six gates of winning the gold when she faltered, giving Blanc all the opening she needed to claim the title.

“In dual racing, you have to stay powerful the whole day and Isabelle was just a bit more powerful than me today,” the Girdwood, Alaska product said.

Although she just missed the gold, the silver was a nice consolation prize for Fletcher after having fallen in the individual GS on Tuesday.

“I was definitely fired up,” Fletcher said.

“I don’t know why, but I’ve always tended to do well in duals,” she added. “It just fires me up to hear somebody next to me, just keeping strong and keeping your mind focused.”

Fletcher got into the final by eliminating Olympic champion Karine Ruby, considered the best snowboarder in the world.

“She’s, well, it’s Karine Ruby!” Fletcher said. “So, yes, I was relieved” when Ruby fell in the first run, giving the American all the advantage she needed in the two runs.

Sweden’s Asa Windfahl got the bronze medal.

Sondra Van Ert of Ketchum, Idaho, bronze medalist in the individual GS, was eliminated in the round of 16.

In the men’s race, Richard Richardson of Sweden got the gold over Austrians Stefan Kaltschuetz, bronze medalist in the individual GS, and Harald Walder.

Peter Thorndike of Meredith, N.H., and Jeff Greenwood of Granby, Conn., were eliminated in the round of 16.