Dujmovits, Karl eye break after breaking Austria's duck

Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:51am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Julia Dujmovits wants to party for a month and Benjamin Karl is hoping for a holiday in Egypt after they broke Austria's Extreme Park medal drought at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday.

Dujmovits won a surprise gold medal to become the first Olympic champion in the snowboard parallel slalom, while Karl took the bronze in the men's event to add to the silver he won in giant slalom four years ago.

Austria's strengths lie in more traditional Winter sports but leaving Sochi without a medal in snowboarding or freestyle skiing would have been quite a comedown after they won three in Vancouver four years ago.

It was redemption of a sorts for both boarders after they disappointed in the parallel giant slalom on Wednesday - Karl upset in the first knockout round and Dujmovits failing to get through qualifying.

"Right now, I can't cope with this situation," a euphoric Dujmovits said after beating German Anke Karstens in the final.

"Thanks to all the people who believed in me and for them keeping their fingers crossed. At the (parallel giant slalom) we couldn't show our level. Today, this was the answer.

"I told my friends that whatever happened at the Olympics, we should put aside a week to party, maybe we need a month now."

As a twice world champion in parallel slalom, Karl had legitimate hopes of walking away with the first Olympic gold medal in the event.   Continued...

Austria's Julia Dujmovits (R), winner of the women's parallel slalom snowboard final, and her compatriot Benjamin Karl (L), who finished third in the men's competition, pose after the flower ceremonies for the parallel slalom snowboard events at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson