Historical triumph in Switzerland: Polish Paulina Ligocka has secured the first ever Halfpipe World Cup victory for her home country. In the final of the eighth contest of the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup 2005/2006, the 21 years-old rider relegated yesterday’s winner Manuela Laura Pesko (SUI) to the second spot. Sophie Rodriguez from France repeated her third rank from yesterday. On the men’s side, Jan Michaelis (44.1) and Xaver Hoffmann (42.2) celebrated Germany’s best Halfpipe World Cup result in a very close final. Only Halvor Lunn from Norway (42.4) who won the Halfpipe competition yesterday was able to hinder an even better podium for the German team.

After the final, Paulina Ligocka couldn’t believe her victory: “I’m so excited. Today, everything went just fine except of my problems during the training. But fortunately it’s only the contest which counts! Jan Michaelis who took over the World Cup lead ahead of his team mate Xaver Hoffmann was all smiles, too: “That’s amazing. My 28th year is so cool. I made myself the best presents placing 3rd and 1st here in Leysin. The form for Turin seems to be OK. But before, the freestyler had to struggle with some physical problems: “I had a bad stomach this morning but it was almost good for the training. For my second run in the final, Xaver’s performance reallymotivated me. His second run was a pure relief for Xaver Hoffmann, because the 31 years old German thus secured his Olympic ticket in the last possible qualifier: “It was such a tight thing in the end. I will do better next time. That’s for sure. I knew before that something would be possible here in Leysin but because of the postponed trainings due to the weather my nerves were frayed. Every time when something big is on, I almost shit my pants. Thus, today’s result is a fantastic dream coming true!

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