Ledecka won Olympic super-G with cracked boot, says coach


Prague (AFP)

Ester Ledecka scored her surprise super-G victory at the Pyeongchang Olympics with a cracked right boot, her coach told AFP on Friday.

The 22-year-old Czech snowboarder stunned the world winning the Olympic super-G with a bib number 26, a week before earning a second gold for the snowboard parallel giant slalom, her main sport.

Ledecka's coach Tomas Bank said the plastic flap on her right boot had been repaired, but the clasp holding it together went off just before the start.

"The boot was a bit less stable as a result, that was unpleasant," Bank told AFP, adding there was no way for Ledecka to race in spare boots.

"She has lots of boots but these are the fastest, no matter how much we test."

"She is always half a second faster in this pair so she insists on racing in these boots."

"She has ten pairs, she keeps testing, but she can't find a pair that would be as fast as this one."

At Pyeongchang, Ledecka became the first woman ever to do a multi-sport double at the Winter Games.

In the February 17 super-G, Ledecka beat defending champion Anna Veith of Austria by 0.01 seconds on skis previously tested by American star Mikaela Shiffrin.

"Shiffrin is the number one at Atomic, so she has the right of first choice. She picks up dozens of pairs each season and then returns some to the factory," Bank said.

"The second-tier racers, which is what Ester was before the Olympics, can then take the leftover skis."

After the race, Ledecka praised snowboarding for giving her confidence for the super-G, but her main sport also helped with the choice of her skis.

"It was her serviceman Petr Kouril who chose the skis at the factory," said Bank.

"He likes used skis because he has less work with them, they are waxed and all, while new skis are an unfinished product," he added.

"And since he does both snowboards and skis, he doesn't have so much time for the skis so he chooses used pairs on purpose," said Bank.