<
>

Patrizia Kummer wins parallel GS

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland won the gold medal in women's snowboarding parallel giant slalom Wednesday.

Kummer cruised to victory when Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan missed a gate midway through the second run of the finals. It gave Switzerland its sixth gold medal in Sochi, tied with the United States and the Netherlands for the third-most in the games.

The silver for Takeuchi was the first ever for a Japanese rider in the event.

"My podium is not for just Japan,'' Takeuchi said. "I want to say thank you to whole world.''

Alena Zavarzina of Russia won bronze just minutes before her husband, former American racer Vic Wild, now competing for Russia, captured gold in the men's event.

The day could've ended with husband and wife both holding gold, but Zavarzina skidded out 12 gates from the bottom in the second heat of her semifinal against Kummer.

Racing for the bronze medal, Zavarzina Austria's Ina Meschik to guarantee there would be an Olympic medal on both nightstands back at their 300-square-foot flat in Moscow.

After weeks of warm sunshine, a front that moved through Tuesday dumped a fresh batch of snow on the course at Rosa Khutor. Officials tried to protect it, but it was a bit of a hard mess in which racers struggled with their lines as they rolled from gate to gate.

Parallel giant slalom starts with 16 riders bracketed based on qualifying times posted earlier in the day. From there, the head-to-head racing consists of two trips down the mountain, with the fastest rider over the two heats advancing to the next round.