Schoch beats brother to gold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Schoch beats brother to gold

By Mark Meadows 23/02/2006 05:52:05 AM Comments (0)

Philipp Schoch became the first snowboarder to retain an Olympic title when he edged out older brother Simon in the final of the men's parallel giant slalom.

Philipp, 26, gained a useful advantage over World Cup leader Simon, 27, in the first run of the final on the easier blue course and hung on in the second run when they switched sides to claim Switzerland's third gold of the Turin Games.

Simon's silver gave Switzerland 10 medals overall so far and followed Tanja Frieden's gold in the women's snowboard cross last week.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to defend a title," Phillip said.

"I'm just enjoying this moment extremely. It is just pure joy. I was very calm at the start of the day and from race to race the feeling just got better."

Brother Simon said: "It's crazy. I was just hoping we both got into the final. The better man wins and today that was certainly him."

Austria's Siegfried Grabner took bronze in the third/fourth place playoff after France's Mathieu Bozzetto tumbled in their first run.

Philipp Schoch, a surprise winner in Salt Lake City four years ago, had some tricky moments in his quarter-final with Slovenia's Rok Flander and semi-final with Grabner, almost slipping when coasting but he steadied himself to go through.

"It might have been expected for them to do well but to take gold and silver at the Olympics really is unbelievable," the Schoch's father Walter said.

"I would probably have liked Simon to win because Philipp already has a gold medal."

They are not the first siblings to win gold and silver at a Winter Olympics. Christine and Marielle Goitschel of France were one and two in the alpine skiing slalom in Innsbruck in 1964 while US twins Phil and Steve Mahre did the same in 1984.

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