MAHDZAN – TZOUGANAKIS – HANEGRAEF SET PACE IN QUALIFYING
9 October 2022, AKSARAY (Türkiye): Luge rider Abdil Mahdzan was in a class of his own in this morning’s qualifying session, posting the fastest time of anyone down the 3.24km Hasandagi track in Aksaray, Turkiye, round 3 of the World Downhill Skateboarding Championship.
The Malaysian rider, currently second in the championship standings, blitzed the field in Open Street Luge, his 3:03.858s run over six seconds faster than his nearest challenger, France’s David Frega with third-placed championship rival Kolby Parks going third quickest with a time of 3:18.468s.
Mahdzan will now be looking to capitalise on his pace in the knockout runs, and in the absence of championship leader Mikel Echegary Diez, will be aiming to move to the top of the points table. Julie Erz, one of two women competing in Luge, put behind her yesterday’s nasty crash to post a very respectable 4:01.080, with Elchje Minne edging her with 3:39.679.
It has been a testing morning for all competitors, completing two practice runs in poor visibility as the mist descended on Mount Hassan with rain falling intermittently, ahead of a solitary qualifying run on a shortened but still fast flowing and testing track, with organisers taking out one corner and adding hay bales to bolster rider safety.
In Open Standup, point’s leader Diego Poncelet set the early pace with 3:06.268s but his lead was short-lived, Alexandros Tzouganakis going 1.054s quicker with a 3:05.214s run, Gregoire Schwab third quickest with 3:08.417.
It was a frustrating outing for sixth-placed title challenger Chase Hiller, the American crashing out and after recovering his board was unable to post a competitive time.
Belgium’s Jasmin Hanegraef was easily the fastest women out on track in Standup, posting a time of 3:38.172s with her title rival Germany’s Myrjam Weissschuh somewhat off the pace with a 3:49.446 run and ahead off Marieke Wunsche.
It was not a good morning for championship leader Grace Wong, the Malaysian rider taking a spill and failing to post a time.