Snow queen Ledecka opts for world ski champs over snowboard

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy) (AFP) –


Czech snow queen Ester Ledecka, who completed a historic ski-snowboard double at the Winter Olympics last year, has opted to compete in the world alpine skiing championships next month over the snowboard championships.

Ledecka, 23, had to choose as both events clashed with snowboarders racing at the worlds in the United States from February 1-10, while skiers will meet for the season's peak in Are, Sweden on February 5-17.

"I was a bit more into going skiing, but I wasn't sure about it," said Ledecka who is currently competing at the World Cup alpine skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy.

"But as the season developed, I felt that this is a good decision.

"I can't really explain it, but I just feel it. I like the hill in Are, so I'm looking forward to it and I think it's going to be nice to race there. Then I'll go back to snowboarding," Ledecka said.

Her best results this season in alpine skiing have been an eighth-place downhill finish in Cortina d'Ampezzo this week and an 11th-place super-G in Val Gardena.

In snowboard races, she has two World Cup parallel giant slalom podiums with one victory in Cortina last December and is currently ranked second in the parallel giant slalom standings.

Last February at the Pyeongchang Olympics the "miracle on snow" created a sensation by winning the alpine skiing super-G gold and adding the snowboarding parallel giant slalom title.

She will compete in Sunday's Super-G in Cortina where double defending World Cup overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin is the favourite, with Lindsey Vonn also targeting a 13th career win as she returns from injury.